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3 



The Church in the Present Crisis 



By IV illiam Allen Harper 

President Eton College, North Carolina 

The Church in the Present Crisis 

Dr. Harper is fully aware of what the church 
lacks and of the necessity for new methods and 
fresh life and he discusses various modus oper- 
andi which should lead to a larger increase of 
usefulness and power. 

Cloth, net $1.75 

Reconstructing the Church 

The adoption of the principles suggested will, 
in the opinion of Dr. Harper, solve the problems 
of federated and community churches, industri- 
alism and social reconstruction, etc., along lines 
compatible with the teachings and spirit of Jesus. 

Cloth, net $1.25 

The New Church for the New 
Time 

A Discussion of Principles 
Dr. Charles S. Macfarland says: 

"A waymark upon the road of transition which 
the Christian Church is traveling and helps us 
to chart the way." 

Cloth, net $1.00 

The New Layman for the New 
Time 

A Discussion of Principles 
Amos R. Wells says: 

" Will accomplish a great work if it set minis- 
ters and other church leaders everywhere to 
planning definitely for the aggressive work of 
laymen." 

Cloth, net $1.00 



The Church in the 
Present Crisis 



By 

WILLIAM ALLEN HARPER, LL. D. 

President of Elon College 

Author of "Preparing the Teacher" " The Making of 
Men," "The New Layman for the New Time" 
"The New Church for the New Time" 
"Reconstructing the Church" etc. 



Introduction by 
REV. PETER AINSLIE, D.D., LL.D. 




New York Chicago 
Fleming H. Revell Company 

J-ONDON AND EDINBURGH 



Copyright, 1921, by 
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 



New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave. 
London : 2 1 Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh : 75 Princes Street 



To 



those who love the Lord 

and are 
committed to His program 

for their 
brothermen and for the 
world and its institutions 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 



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Introduction 



HE author of this book is my friend. He 



belongs to that group of strong and 



brotherly characters that helps to bind 
Christians of all denominations together. Such a 
man is needed in these times of a divided Church. 
As a Christian educator he has revealed an in- 
fluence and leadership that have indicated high 
merit in the circle of the nation's educators. He 
has honoured me in asking me to stand in the 
gateway of this volume, opening its pages to mul- 
titudes for their perusal. He needs no one to in- 
troduce him, however, for his former volumes 
have taken a permanent place in the thought of 
our time and this one is the best of all in its 
thorough and reverential discussion of many sub- 
jects having to do with our national life and 
spiritual possibilities. 

There is hardly a chapter or even a subject but 
that it might be the theme of an entire volume. 
He has presented these so satisfactorily that no 
reader will fail to comprehend the importance of 
the brief discussion and will desire to go into more 
lengthy examination from these too brief pages, 
which after all is the best service a book can ren- 
der. 




7 



8 



INTKODTJCTIOH 



Because President Harper and I are of different 
religious communions division in the Church is 
made more painful and manifestly more unneces- 
sary. Our communions had their start about the 
same time, his a few years earlier than mine. 
Both communions owe a debt of gratitude to the 
devotion and courage of Barton W. Stone, Pres- 
byterian minister of Kentucky, yet I wonder if 
Stone would have wanted us to live apart as we 
have done through nearly a hundred years— one 
party calling themselves " Christians " and the 
other " Disciples of Christ " and both denying the 
meaning of those sacred names by their separation 
from each other as well as their separation from 
other Christians and other Disciples of Christ. I 
have likewise often asked myself, if Thomas and 
Alexander Campbell had been able to see that the 
results of their labours would have culminated in 
the establishment of two distinct religious bodies 
—"Disciples of Christ" and "Churches of 
Christ" — would they not have revolted before a 
vision of such results? Because the " Disciples of 
Christ " number more than a million and the 
" Churches of Christ " three or four hundred 
thousand, does not mitigate the conditions. It is 
the fact that in the list of religious bodies there 
are now three additional bodies — President Har- 
per's, known as " Christians," mine, known as 
" Disciples of Christ," and " Churches of Christ," 
that went off from the Disciples because there 



INTEODUCTION 



9 



could be found no Scripture for the support of 
missionary societies and instrumental music in 
churches. 

It must be recognized, too, that Barton W. 
Stone, Thomas Campbell and Alexander Camp- 
bell did more for Christian unity in their single 
lifetime than the three bodies combined have done 
since in their entire history of a hundred years or 
so. This raises the serious question as to whether 
we are to go on through the coming years sepa- 
rated among ourselves and separated from other 
Christians and other Disciples of Christ and other 
Churches of Christ, every day dishonouring the 
cause for which we stand by our separation and 
denying brotherhood among the saints, which has 
been the motive power in Christianity from the 
days when Jesus was in the flesh. No angel will 
stand with flaming sword forbidding us to ad- 
vance nor will a dumb ass speak in man's voice to 
show us our folly, but there is a fearful judgment 
accumulating against the whole Church in which 
we in particular will share. 

It is not of primary importance whether any 
one of the religious bodies now enumerated in the 
United States census continues its existence. The 
primary things have to do with the social side of 
religion, not its theological side, which will al- 
ways be for a few, while the social side will al- 
ways be for the multitudes. Jesus showed His 
friendliness for the social over the theological 



10 



INTRODUCTION 



when in the flesh and I suppose He is the same 
to-day as He was then. The things that must in- 
terest us now are the things that came in His 
thought when on earth. These things had to do 
with the great principles of brotherhood, a term 
never to be confined to a single religious body, 
which is always rank sectarianism, but brother- 
hood for all mankind and especially for all those 
who find in Jesus the Saviour of the world; of 
service in ministrations that know no limitations 
of creed, race or society; and of faith that makes 
daily God's immanence among men and women in 
the friendly attitude of Father and Friend. 

We must think differently if we would be dif- 
ferent in our attitudes and approaches. The 
Church has often preached to the world to change 
and it is an altogether proper call, but the Church 
herself must change by genuine repentance in her 
attitudes and approaches. She needs neither 
money nor prestige. Those things have secondary 
places. The Church needs an awakening to the 
world task for the saving of the whole world. 
Her change of ideas could bring this about in a 
single generation, for ideas are the most powerful 
forces in the Universe. This book recognizes this 
and in reverent, yet fearless spirit outlines the 
ideas the Church needs now to incarnate in her 
life. 

God is the Architect and Builder of this world. 
We cannot comprehend His vast schemes any. 



INTEODUCTION 



11 



more than the cardinals comprehended the vast 
plans of Michelangelo in his building St. Peter's 
Cathedral, accusing him of incompetence; but the 
artist declined to justify himself and kept at his 
task. He said, "I am not obliged to communicate 
either to you or to any one that which I ought or 
wish to do. Your business is to look after the 
expenses. The remainder is my affair." Our 
business is to clean up the filth of this world in 
order to give the right of way to better social, in- 
tellectual and spiritual possibilities of mankind. 
The remainder is God's affair. 

There are wrongs to be abolished and new ad- 
justments to be made. Our social order is out 
of gear. There is no standard by which it can be 
permanently righted other than that of Jesus. 
We need, however, neither to be alarmed nor dis- 
couraged. There is growth in the world. 
Womanhood is being honoured; childhood is be- 
ing recognized without sin at its birth and its right 
of growth toward God; education is making uni- 
versal the great facts of the world and the mind's 
fellowship with God; the inalienable rights of 
mankind are being recognized; industrial adjust- 
ments are in progress; care for the prisoner and 
concern for delinquents find expression in the ac- 
tivities of many; hospitals are being multiplied so 
as to meet the demands of ministrations to the 
sick; societies for the protection of the dumb ani- 
mals are being organized; the Gospel is being 



12 



INTEODUCTION 



preached to all nations. These are some of the 
Gesta Christi, some of the victories of Christian- 
ity, which this book recognizes and rejoices in. 

But if we look upon the things to be done we 
have much to do. The Church must not delay any 
longer her search for the paths of reconciliation; 
religion must have in it reality so that the love of 
one's neighbour must be as real as the love of one's 
child ; the Gospel must go to the ends of the earth 
clothed in the sympathy of Jesus; race hatred 
must be removed by friendly attitude of the races 
toward each other; labour and capital must cease 
competing and learn to cooperate ; education must 
be Christian, representing the whole community 
and not denominational, representing a party; 
war must be abolished; nations must learn to ad- 
just their differences in international courts rather 
than attempting a settlement by wholesale mur- 
der, which settles nothing. As Disraeli long ago 
said, " War is never a solution. It is an aggrava- 
tion." Napoleon said, " The more I study the 
world the more I am convinced of the inability of 
force to create anything durable." Frederick the 
Great said: "If soldiers were thinking men, they 
would not be fighting men." And here comes the 
thundering statement from a military man to the 
Church — General Tasker H. Bliss, former Chief 
of Staff of the United States Army, writing to the 
Church Peace Union under date of May 27, 1921, 
urged the churches to preach on reduction of 



INTRODUCTION 



13 



armaments by international agreement. He said: 
" If the churches cannot agree upon that it will 
not be done nor will it be done until the Good 
God puts into them the proper spirit of their re- 
ligion. The responsibility is entirely upon the 
professing Christians of the United States. If 
another war like the last one should come, they 
will be responsible for every drop of blood that 
will be shed and for every dollar waste fully ex- 
pended." 

These tasks challenge us, but they are no bigger 
than other tasks of other generations. We can 
meet them and we can find the paths to victory 
only in fellowship with Jesus Christ, Who once 
lived in the flesh and now seeks to live in the flesh 
again by being formed in the lives of all mankind. 
This stirring volume will help to that larger un- 
derstanding of these tasks which must lie at the 
basis of their solution, and for it I predict a wide 
reading. Nor must I neglect to point out that the 
divisional arrangement of the chapters will make 
it especially valuable to readers who have only a 
few minutes for reading at a single sitting, as 
likewise for those who will wish to use the book 
in their daily devotions and meditations. This 
book contains a vital message for the hour, one 
that will rejoice many hearts as they read. 

Peter Ainslie. 

Baltimore, Md. 



Contents 



Foreword 17 

I. The Church Functioning in the Present 

Crisis 27 

J I. Three Fundamental Goods ... 45 

III. Christian Knighthood . . . • $7 

IV. A Program of Christian Statesmanship 70 

V. What Is a Christian ? . . . • 83 

VI. Some Applications of the Four-Square 

Principle 94 

VII. The Kingdom . . . . .116 

VIII. The Biblical Commandments . .136 

IX. Religion and Revelation . . . 1 $0 

X. Christian Home Life . . . .161 

XI. Money and the Kingdom . . .173 

XII. Deeper Yet 186 

XIII. Some Doctrines Re-Defined . . 197 

XIV. Some Fundamental Conceptions Re- 

Stated 222 

XV. Christ, Our Sufficiency . . . 241 

XVI. The Lifting Power of Christ, the 

Church's Hope . . . .257 

15 



Foreword 



SOMETHING has happened in the world. 
Whether it is to be a shipwreck, a catas- 
trophe, a cataclysm for the Church de- 
pends on how the Church functions in the days 
immediately ahead. If the Church regards her 
relationship to the surging issues of our time to 
be that of an infirmary or a hospital, it will prove 
to be her shipwreck. If her evangelistic message 
is to be satisfied with boring for tears, a catas- 
trophe is imminent. If her social duty is to be 
conceived in the spirit of the man who would have 
his house by the side of the road and be a friend 
to man, then the cataclysm will presently be upon 
us like an avalanche. 

But it may be far otherwise. This thing that 
has happened in the world, this uncrowning of 
kings and enthronement of mankind, this new 
birth of altruism and brotherhood, this spirit of 
sacrifice, this spirit of faithfulness " even to the 
death," may be the doorway for the Church into 
the largest opportunity of her history. Out of the 
uncertainty and restlessness of our time the 
Church may lead into ways of peace and serenity 
and calm. There is nothing wrong with our un- 
certainty per se. The wrong will come if it is not 

17 



18 THE CHUEOH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



properly directed. There is nothing per se to con- 
demn in our age's restlessness. Rather we should 
be grateful for it as a sign of renewed life and 
energy, and should set about conserving it for 
the upbuilding of humankind. These torrential 
floods of furious waters are potential with energy 
for making the world safe for life and all its min- 
istering institutions, provided the Church throws 
herself into the maelstrom in complete self-for- 
getfulness, drunk with the thought of the service 
she can render a civilization that threatens to be 
submerged by the very waters that properly di- 
rected may buoy it up irresistibly in all its essential 
qualities. 

Will the Church continue to wear the white 
uniform of the hospital and infirmary to the ex- 
clusion of the overalls of the gardener and of the 
labouring man? Will she also be willing to con- 
sider herself the hotbed wherein all the herbs for 
the maintenance as well as the healing of the race 
should appropriately be grown? Will she let 
those bore for tears who must, but will she 
quicken each sturdy breast among her devotees 
with a passion for social redemption that shall 
save the individual most certainly by also saving 
the social order? Will she abandon her smug 
house by the side of the road and her circum- 
scribed friendship for the few that come to her 
door-yard for help, and will she take to the high- 
way and be the brother to all mankind ? 



FOEEWOKD 



19 



A parasitic Church is an impertinence. The 
Church that has no program besides the Sunday 
services and the mid-week prayer-meeting is in 
need of a new birth or of a fire. Why are our 
pulpits empty in startling degree and our pews 
increasingly unoccupied in many instances? Is it 
because we have degenerated spiritually? There 
be some who think so and they would have us 
about face and return to the good old days. But 
they are mistaken. The methods and manners 
and messages of the good old days were good 
then; they would prove ineffectual now. We 
have not degenerated. We have gone forward 
and left the Church sitting by the side of the road. 
We have constructed a hard-surface road in an- 
other direction over which mankind travels now, 
but the Church still sits by the side of the old 
trail because men used to use it as the highway of 
life. She must abandon her house altogether and 
come over where the people are. 

If this book has any justification, it is to give a 
layman's view as to how the Church may function 
helpfully in these years of such hopefulness. It 
breathes the spirit of Christian optimism, an 
optimism justified by the growth that has come to 
the cause of Jesus in the past nineteen centuries. 
The writer believes firmly in the Church's right 
to lead in the redemption of the best in the spirit 
of the age, in the elimination of all that is unholy 
and inimical. But he also believes firmly that the 



20 THE CHXJKCH IJST THE PBESENT CEISIS 



Church we have to-day will not lead in those mat- 
ters unless she takes to the highway of life. 

This does not mean that the Church is to 
abandon the preaching of the Word or the Scrip- 
tures that are the charter of her being, the source 
and inspiration of her vitality. It does mean that 
she is to recognize that " time makes ancient good 
uncouth " and that it is useless to attempt to per- 
suade men to adopt the view-points of service or 
theology which in former days satisfied the high- 
est aspirations of men's souls. We of this day 
appreciate the ideals and the stalwart Christian 
character resulting therefrom of the men who 
preceded us in life's arena, and we also recog- 
nize that life cannot be static. We have accepted 
the progressive hypothesis. We find it works in 
business and we are sure it will also work in re- 
ligion. The law of gravity has not been repealed, 
yet men fly in aeroplanes, and the theory of rela- 
tivity proposed by Einstein suggests an entirely new 
conception of gravity itself. The laws of the spiri- 
tual nature have not been abrogated, yet men are 
no longer content merely to read the Bible and to 
sing and pray — they are conscious of a resistless 
urge within to undertake the greater works of 
which Jesus prophesied. We know that they who 
preceded us cannot without us and our contribu- 
tion to the Kingdom be made perfect. We do not 
regard ourselves any more as spiritual reflectors, 
but as lenses to gather up the rays of God's truth 



FOEEWOED 



21 



and to bring them to a burning focus on the hearts 
and consciences and conduct of men. We are not 
moons. We want our places in the sun, that the 
Kingdom of God through us may be advanced. 

Practical ways of investing the energy of spirit 
that everywhere characterizes the Christian man- 
hood and womanhood of our day must be found. 
Just keeping the Church organizations alive with 
the further thought of extending its borders, will 
not suffice. The old methods must yield, just as 
the horse has yielded to the automobile. New at- 
titudes toward life and its problems are with us 
and they call for new types of action. These we 
must provide. Then, too, the former creedal 
statements have ceased to satisfy. We have not 
forgotten the man who was found guilty of heresy 
by the traditionalists of the Church, though he 
professed to believe every word of the so-called 
Apostles' Creed. They declared him a heretic, 
not because he did not honestly believe the creed, 
but because he did not interpret it their way. We 
must have catholicity of spirit in these days, and 
liberty of conscience, that bulwark of our Chris- 
tian freedom. 

It would be useless to attempt a systematic 
theology for our era. Systematic theology re- 
ceived scant courtesy at the hands of the Master. 
He never even mentioned it. But men who think 
for themselves have reached some conclusions in 
regard to certain teachings that are at variance 



22 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



with the traditional view. Many conscientious 
men are out of the Church to-day because they 
hold these more liberal sentiments, which they, be- 
cause they have been so taught, think the gospel 
condemns. This book sets forth some of these 
sentiments and they are shown to be in accord 
with the gospel and unconditionally necessary for 
the realization of Christ's program for the race. 
The Church must not hesitate to throw the 
weight of her influence on the side of these new 
conceptions of Christian truth and duty, thus lib- 
erating the spirits of those most capable of serv- 
ing her interests in this new day of her opportu- 
nity and releasing for the development of mankind 
spiritual forces of untold fruitfulness. These 
sentiments will not save the men and women of 
this day, any more than the intellectual assent to 
a body of doctrines in former days was able to 
save those who accepted them as the guiding prin- 
ciples of life. But these sentiments will make it 
possible for men to "work out their salvation" 
in terms of the Christian attitude toward the prob- 
lems and issues of the times. After all it is the 
life we live and not the doctrines we believe, that 
really counts, and the only excuse for doctrines is 
the influence they may, when honestly accepted, 
have in the shaping of the life. 

In these days of reconstruction it must not be 
a patchwork, but one of remaking which the 
Church shall courageously undertake. Let her re- 



FOEEWOED 



23 



state her faith as the Spirit shall lead and let her 
initiate such programs of action as shall release 
for the Kingdom's coming the amplest outpour- 
ing of spiritual forces, and all will be well. Less 
than this the organized forces of the Christ can- 
not undertake in a day and with an opportunity 
for advance such as faces us now. 



SHRINES 



I've travelled far in many lands, 

The open road I've trod; 
And through the devious ways of men 

IVe searched with them for God. 

The ancients found Him in their graves, 

The Wise Men saw the Star. 
God comes to some in paths of peace, 

To some in flaming war. 

Before the Buddha some men bow ; 

Some love the Nazarene. 
The mystic feels a Presence near, 

Although no form is seen. 

On desert sands the vision comes, 
As men turn toward the East, 

And while some, fasting, see His face, 
Some find Him at the feast. 

In temple, mosque, cathedral dim, 
Through vigil, chant, and prayer, 

Wherever man cries out to God, 
The Living God is there. 

Wherever man has fought for right, 
Where man for man has died ; 

Beside him stands, could we but see, 
One that was crucified. 
24 



SHEINES 



25 



Alone I have communed with Him 

Beneath a starlit sky, 
And I have touched His garment hem 

Where crowds go surging by. 

And this is clear in all my search, 

As clear as noonday sun ; 
The name and form are naught to God, 

To Him all shrines are one. 

— Hinton White. 



I 



THE CHURCH FUNCTIONING IN THE 
PRESENT CRISIS 



HE very moment the individual Christian 



becomes satisfied with himself a funeral 



, is in order. The very moment a local 
church feels it has done its duty by its community 
that church ceases to be an asset and becomes a 
charge upon the community's generosity. The 
very moment a denomination considers its pro- 
gram inclusive enough to discharge its obligation 
to the Kingdom the processes of disintegration 
have set in and death is only a matter of time. 
The very moment the Church universal com- 
placently congratulates itself upon its achieve- 
ments, in forget fulness of the fields white unto the 
harvest or unwilling to modify its methods to meet 
new situations, it has surrendered the keys of 
Heaven and a new church is sure to succeed to its 
prerogatives. Whether Protestantism is to be the 
vehicle by which the Kingdom is fully to come is 
problematic. 

Let us lay down as the foundation principle of 
our approach to this theme — that it is the duty of 
the Church to render itself unnecessary. It is the 
voice crying in the wilderness in preparation of 




27 



28 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



the coming Kingdom. And when the Kingdom 
has come, there will be no Church. The Church 
is not an end in itself. It is the means to an end. 
There is nothing ultimate in its form or organiza- 
tion. Like the Sabbath, it was made for man, not 
man for it. Whatever form or organization of 
the Church enables man to express his spirit and 
inner longing best will survive till the Kingdom 
has come and it as an organization be swallowed 
up in victory. God hasten the day when this vic- 
tory shall have fully come ! 

But its coming is delayed till the Church shall 
have enlarged her conceptions and learned to 
function anew in many directions. Let us not be 
troubled about " the faith once delivered to the 
saints." That faith the Deliverer said was like 
.leaven, like a mustard seed, like a man giving to 
his servants certain talents to be improved. That 
faith is no static affair. The great Sermon on the 
Mount is its magna charta and no man can amend 
it, but the application of its principles to life under 
the general welfare clause so powerfully expressed 
in the Master's treatment of the Sabbath is the 
divine prerogative of each succeeding generation. 
Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets. 
We are His viceroys to fulfill the gospel. We 
dare not hide our talent in the earth. We shall 
be traitors to the cause we have espoused unless 
we put our Lord's " money to usury " in the serv- 
ice of Christ and humanity. 



THE CHUECH FUNCTIONING 29 

I have often thanked God that I live in a day 
like this — a day of testing of ideals, a day of 
clarification of concepts, a day big with invitation 
to enter the promised land of the Kingdom. The 
World War has led us out of Egypt. Skilled and 
trusted leaders have mapped out the strongholds 
we are to take. Shall we have to wait in the 
Wilderness of indecision for a new generation to 
arise, or what is the same thing, till the present 
generation is dead, before we can enter in? Are 
we " grasshopper " Christians in this day, or have 
we the faith, the resistless, overcoming faith of 
Caleb and Joshua? God forbid that the grass- 
hopper should become a burden to the Church in 
our day because of its impotent and enfeebled 
faith! 

The times call for heroic endeavour, for self- 
effacing sacrifice, for loving devotion and loyalty 
to the truth of the Kingdom's principles. Only 
men, red-blooded men, men of undaunted faith, 
men willing to dare, to die for the truth as the 
Spirit has revealed it to them, men who accept the 
past, rejoice in the present, and are ready to utilize 
both past and present as stepping stones upward 
to a fuller understanding of the Master's will for 
His Church in the future can really serve the 
Kingdom's interests in this day. In what new 
ways we may most appropriately inquire ought 
His Church through such men to function in such 
a time as this? 



30 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



I. Evangelism 

The first and primary function of the Church 
is to be evangelistic. Note that I did not say 
evangelical, though I would have no objection to 
that, provided it should be my type of evangelical- 
ism. The evangelistic church is interested in men 
and bids them come. The evangelical church has 
sometimes busied itself with erecting barriers to 
keep men out who could not come on its terms and 
conditions. What we need in this time is the mes- 
sage of the seer of Patmos to " whosoever will " 
let him come and partake of the water of life 
freely. Blessed whosoever — that means all. 

But the methods of evangelism must be revised 
so as to reach all — the little child, the adult sinner, 
the social order, the institutions and organizations 
that minister to the lives of men. The evangelism 
of the past has been powerful in throwing out life- 
lines to sinking shipwrecked brethren, powerful in 
rescue work, but weak and impotent in its nurturing 
ministry to childhood and its purification of the 
social order. We have erected certain criteria of 
conversion, true to the experiences of adult sinners 
and simply waited for the children of the race to 
be able to exhibit these criteria before we con- 
sidered them ready for membership in the King- 
dom. Not long since I heard a group of sweet 
innocent girls from five to ten years of age sing- 
ing, " I have ceased from my wandering and going 
astray, since Jesus came into my heart." How 



THE CHUECH FUNCTIONING 31 



pathetic ! These words so inspiring to adult sing- 
ers meant nothing to these innocent children or 
were a plain falsehood. 

The Church needs to recognize with reference 
to her children that of such is the Kingdom of 
Heaven and so to safeguard their innocency that 
they will never become hardened sinners at all. I 
recognize the implication of what I am saying 
with reference to total depravity. I do not pro- 
fess to be a theologian and I am glad I am not. 
But if I were I should never teach total depravity. 
Jesus did not. He said to Nicodemus as the rep- 
resentative of the governing class — " Ye must be 
born again," and those who have studied the in- 
iquity of the Jewish Sanhedrin will agree that a 
new birth was necessary in their case. He also, 
individually applying His principle, said, "a man," 
not " a child," had to be born again. But He ex- 
alted a little child, declaring that of such is the 
Kingdom of Heaven. What a sad commentary it 
is on us adults that after a few years' association 
with us, it should stand in need of a new birth 
before it is ready for membership in that Kingdom 
of which the Master declared it to be the type! 
We must find the method of evangelizing child- 
hood, so that at the proper time the little ones may 
witness even as Helen Keller did when her teacher 
told her of God. "I have known Him all the 
time," she said, shut in from all possibility of 
learning of Him except the witness of the Spirit 



32 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 

in her own heart, " I have known Him all the 
time, but I did not know His name." We should 
thank God for Helen Keller's testimony as to the 
naturalness and the normalcy of the Christian life, 
while we recognize the necessity for the new birth 
for the children of our present social order. 

And then, too, the Church must function in the 
social order. The social order is the air we 
breathe. It is necessary to our life. It must be 
pure or we shall have a constant battle to maintain 
our health. Preventive medicine is more valuable 
than ministry to those who have fallen victims to 
the disease we could have forestalled by proper 
methods. It is all right to do the good Samaritan 
act to the neighbour who has fallen among thieves, 
but it is better to break up the den of thieves be- 
fore he should fall among them, delivering the 
thieves up to justice and not stopping till they have 
been won to right relations with their brothermen. 
The evangelism of the reconstruction day will rec- 
ognize the futility in large measure of winning 
men to the Christian standard of life individually, 
while the social order touching their lives from 
every angle flaunts in their faces the red flag of 
vice and sin. It is useless to say the Christianized 
social order is the fatuous dream of the prince of 
dreamers. It is rather a program to be progress- 
ively realized in Christian statesmanship. Either 
it must be achieved or Christianity is hopeless as a 
redemptive force for the world. 



THE CHUKCH FUNCTIONING 33 



II. Social Service 
Just as evangelism is primary in the program 
of the Church, so social service is secondary to it 
as the becoming fruit of the inner life of the heart. 
The missionary program of the Church is a part 
of the social service obligation of the Christian 
faith. My salvation cannot end in my salvation. 
Jesus did not come to save me. He came to save 
me that I might be the means of saving some one 
else. And the great Quaker poet, Whittier, was 
right when he said: "Heaven's gate is closed to 
him who comes alone." I do not care to inhabit 
Heaven alone. I am a social being. God made 
me so, and if I am to be the only person saved, as 
I have said elsewhere, let me go to Hell with the 
rest of the folks. I should be incomparably miser- 
able to stand empty-handed in the presence of my 
Lord. 

Christianity is unselfishness or it is not. It is a 
force to be invested in other lives or it is nothing. 
The genuine Christian can never be content to en- 
joy any blessing till his brothermen have the same 
opportunity of satisfying their lives. The selfish 
Christian — he shall die. God cannot prosper him 
nor bless him. The practice of brotherhood is 
necessary to growth in spirituality, and the prac- 
tice of brotherhood is social service. 

The Church in this day needs to enlarge her pro- 
gram of service. Note that I did not say services 
nor even divine services. We have had too much 



34 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



attention given to services and when truly under- 
stood all service is for the true Christian divine. 
So let me repeat that in these reconstruction days 
the Church needs to enlarge her program of social 
service and to make it constructive. It should 
comprehend all of life and be positively construct- 
ive. When it does become thus comprehensive 
and constructive, it will become the strong ally, the 
helpmeet of evangelism. 

Why should social service comprehend all of 
life? Because God made all of life. It should 
minister to sickness assuredly, but also to health. 
It should minister to the spirit of man, but also to 
his body. It is no more Christian service to teach 
a Sunday school class than to lead that same class 
into wholesome sports tending to keep the body 
healthy and the heart pure. Recreation and amuse- 
ments, sanitation and hygiene, the relief of distress 
and the making merry for joy's sake, preaching the 
gospel to the non-Christians at home and abroad, 
the provision for worship and the community fair 
— all these and many more will be included in the 
comprehensive program of the Church that ex- 
pects to reconstruct the life of our time. It will 
dare minister to all of life and will not call com- 
mon or unclean anything God has made. 

And why should social service be constructive? 
Because that is the divine method. It was Jesus' 
method. He came not to destroy, but to fulfill. 
He fulfilled by transforming. Just cleaning up 



THE CHUECH FUNCTIONING 35 



life won't do. The parable of the garnished house 
forever settles that matter. The Scriptural method 
is to overcome evil with good. There is only one 
way to do this — to put good in the place of evil. 
This the Church has not always understood. It 
has been strong in denunciation. The social evils 
of the day the Church has soundly condemned. It 
has been brave to tell the young people not to 
dance, not to play cards, not to go to the theatre, 
not to do this and that, till the young people have 
come to look upon the tree of life as full of knots 
and upon the Church as a dismal and dreary scold. 
It is right to inveigh against the hurtful and the 
wrong, provided we offer for the things we con- 
demn a program of things to be done that really 
promote life. The Christian life is not negation; 
it is positive activity. " When they have made a 
wilderness they call it peace," bitterly declared the 
great Tacitus. When they have restrained youth's 
natural impulses toward expression and activity, 
will the churches call it religious ? God forbid ! 

The Church in the new time will not be ashamed 
to provide for wholesome recreation, for helpful 
amusements, for proper social intercourse for her 
sons and daughters desirous to tell the sweet story 
of love, for all the ministries that are needful to 
the satisfaction of the attributes of the ripening 
soul. Not be ashamed to provide for these things ? 
Nay, verily it will be her joy to do so and to con- 
struct her physical plant so as to do it most effi- 



36 THE CHUKCH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



ciently, and in doing so she will be as her Master 
was the servant of all life. 

III. Religious Education 
The greatest weakness in Protestant Christian- 
ity is our failure so far to provide an adequate pro- 
gram of religious education. A church that does 
not save its own children certainly cannot save the 
world. Mental illiteracy is bad enough in a de- 
mocracy, but spiritual illiteracy is national bank- 
ruptcy to a people whose government rests for its 
sanction on the moral and ethical standards of its 
electorate. Our public school system is a magnifi- 
cent achievement. It is a mighty bulwark of the 
edifice of democratic government we have been 
erecting since 1792. It insures that every citizen 
shall be equipped to vote intelligently at the polls. 
Its weakness is that it does not and cannot insure 
that he will also vote rightly and from highest 
motives. The separation of Church and State 
makes that impossible. Right-mindedness is the 
prerogative not of the public school system, but of 
the Church through a statesmanlike program of 
religious education. 

The Church must function in this day in relig- 
ious education or the passing of Protestantism is 
only a matter of time. The fine insistence of our 
faith on the dignity of the individual soul, on its 
right of direct access to God, on liberty for all and 
a common brotherhood is well enough and right. 



THE CHUKCH FUNCTIONING 37 



But these very prerogatives impose on us the duty 
of providing that they shall be used in the interest 
of the individual and of society and not to their 
undoing. These very rights impose on the Church 
the duty to provide a system of religious education 
paralleling our great public school system and in 
its realm equally scientific and efficient. In Chap- 
ter IV such a system is outlined and discussed. 

Our present system of religious education, suf- 
fice it to say now, is inadequate and unrelated, so 
that in essence it is not a system at all. We reach 
only 16,000,000 out of 43,000,000 young people 
and children twenty-five years of age and under, 
and reach these for only a few minutes each week. 
The curriculum of our Bible schools is chaotic in 
practice and weak at its best. Our equipment is 
intolerable, not because of our poverty, but be- 
cause of our not having considered that equipment 
is necessary to teach religion. It is the rare man 
who has seen any vital connection between the 
Sunday schools and the denominational colleges, 
universities, and seminaries. The Christian insti- 
tutions of higher and professional learning must 
rest on the Sunday schools as the basis of their 
hope regarding themselves as crowning the 
Church's educational system, and in turn must 
prepare laymen and ministers alike for efficient 
leadership in the Sunday school and other depart- 
ments of Church work. Christian service as a 
vocation is not limited to ministers. Literally 



38 THE CHUEOH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



thousands of trained laymen must give themselves 
to it in the new system of religious education. 

The system of religious education we are to con- 
struct will be broad and comprehensive enough to 
reach all and to minister to all of life. It will re- 
quire thoroughly graded and equipped Sunday 
schools, week-day instruction in religion, Daily 
Vacation Bible Schools, community schools of re- 
ligious education for training leaders, denomina- 
tional colleges, universities, and seminaries, pro- 
vision for teaching religion in State and independ- 
ent schools of higher learning and ministry to all 
the attributes of life. This program will call for 
men to administer it, for money to support it, for 
statesmanship to launch and standardize it. The 
souls of our people are at stake. The life of, our 
democracy is at stake. The very existence of Prot- 
estantism is at stake. We dare not doubt nor fal- 
ter in the face of such tremendous issues. The 
resources of God are promised those who under- 
take His program. 

IV. Industry 
I do not mean under this heading that the 
Church is to side with labour or capital. The 
Church has a message both for labour and capital. 
The present organization of industry is anti-Chris- 
tian in spirit. Profits to capitalists in the form of 
dividends and to labourers in the form of wages is 
the motive principle, a principle essentially selfish, 



THE CHUKCH FUNCTIONING 39 



divisive, and unchristian. Nothing that arrays 
brother against brother or that prevents every 
man from recognizing his brotherhood with every 
other man and from freely and naturally practis- 
ing it can stand the searchlight of Christian truth. 

There can be no denial that labouring men gen- 
erally speaking feel that the Church is lined up 
with the wealthy. This is a lamentable situation 
in view of our Master's personal poverty and His 
" blessed are ye poor." If the Church is to be 
partisan in the world of industry, she should 
openly espouse the cause of the labouring man, for 
in this way she can reach the larger number. The 
toiling masses love and reverence Jesus and are 
willing to rest their case on His gospel. They are 
wise in their faith in the value of its application to 
the problems of the industrial order. It can and 
will heal its disorders and nothing else can or will. 
The worth of personality, the brotherhood of man, 
the obligation to serve incumbent upon every 
Christian, faith in the ultimate victory of right- 
eousness, love as the motive principle of conduct 
in whatever realm — these are the eternal principles 
of the Kingdom that must underlie any real solu- 
tion of the industrial problem, and any proposal 
that violates any one of these foundation prin- 
ciples is condemned by the gospel of Jesus. 

This is not the place nor the time for practical 
applications of these principles, though the Church 
is to do more than merely proclaim her principles. 



40 THE CHUBCH IN THE PBESENT CEISIS 



She must be willing at whatever cost to espouse 
proposals embodying these principles, and as a 
choice between the present very imperfect system 
and a new one promising some relief along proper 
lines she is under obligation to support a plan not 
wholly perfect in our day, but as looking to the 
future when the full gospel teaching can be faith- 
fully applied. The principle of collective bargain- 
ing is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direc- 
tion and as such the Church should champion it 
under local administration, hopefully looking to 
the day when a real partnership in industry will 
render it unnecessary. A wealthy industrial cap- 
tain and devout Christian recently complained 
that he could not understand what his employees 
wanted with industrial democracy. " Their hours 
are short," he said, " and their wages are at the 
top notch. I provide a community building, a 
church, and school for them, free of cost. I just 
can't understand it." The modern labourer wants 
no paternalism, no toadying, no coddling. He is 
a man, free, independent, he is the child of a king, 
the brother of all men. As such, industrial de- 
mocracy is his birthright and he will be satisfied 
with nothing less. Will the Church deny him her 
support in his effort to secure it ? 

Certainly it will cost the Church something to 
take up his cause. It cost our Master something 
to plead the cause of the poor and of the outcasts. 
He did not count the cost too great. The grief to 



THE CHUECH FUNCTIONING 41 



which the great Inter-Church World Movement 
came in the past spring is suggestion to the Church 
as to what she may expect if she devotes herself to 
this problem in the spirit of her Master. The col- 
lapse of that splendid Movement was foreboded 
when it issued its industrial platform and ap- 
pointed its committee to investigate the steel in- 
dustry. Big business is comfortable in conscience 
and devoted to its own interests. The present in- 
dustrial order plays into its hands, and any institu- 
tion that essays to disturb its program is doomed 
to feel the weight of its mammoth power. Wit- 
ness the assault of the Employers' Association of 
Pittsburgh on the Y. W. C. A. and the Federal 
Council. Nevertheless it is right for the Church 
to function in industry, and function it will. God 
being her helper, she can do no other. 



V. In Unison 
The Protestant Church saw the Y. M. C. A., the 
Y. W. C. A., the War Camp Community Service, 
the Salvation Army, and other quasi-religious or- 
ganizations go to the front with our boys and min- 
ister to their religious and leisure life, while she 
stayed at home. The reason why camp pastors 
were not allowed is well known — it would have 
introduced sectarianism into the conduct of the 
war. Sectarianism is the outstanding organic sin 
of the Church to-day. We must repent and bring 



42 THE CHUKOH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



forth fruit meet for repentance in these recon- 
struction days. 

It has been said that had Germany delayed in- 
itiating the World War forty-eight hours till the 
voice of mankind could have expressed itself, there 
would have been no war. But how would the 
Protestant Church in America, with its 183 " sects 
and insects," in forty-eight days have been able to 
express itself ? Protestantism needs a united voice. 
We must have that voice, or within a century or 
two Catholicism will have gained the ascendancy 
in this country. Then where will our democracy 
be? Eventually Catholics and Protestants, too, 
must unite, but the only possible way for such 
union without the disappearance of Protestantism 
is for the Protestant Churches to unite and thus be 
in position hopefully to approach the Catholic 
Church for an equitable basis of oneness for 
Christendom. 

There is a universally felt need for the Church 
to function in legislation at home and in the prob- 
lems of international life abroad. The Federal 
Council of Churches is doing its best in these di- 
rections. Its hands need to be strengthened and its 
scope of activities enlarged. How can we ever 
Christianize America, divided as we are? How 
can we solve the problems of evangelism, social 
service, religious education, and industrialism, di- 
vided as we are? How can we hope to bring the 
influence of Christ's teachings to bear on interna- 



THE CHUKCH FUNCTIONING 43 



tional questions, divided as we are? The Protes- 
tant Church is a Samson shorn of his locks in her 
present chaotic and divided condition. Necessity 
compels us to sacrifice whatever may be demanded 
in the interest of the ultimate success of the cause 
we love. 

But I have not yet given the great convincing 
reason for a united Church in these choice days of 
reconstruction. It is the prayer of our Master 
for the oneness of His people — " that they may all 
be one, as we are one," He importuned the Father. 
Why? "That the world may believe that Thou 
hast sent Me." How dare we pray " Thy King- 
dom come " and make its coming impossible by 
our sinful division and affronting sectarianism? 
How the divided house of the Christ must crucify 
Him anew in this hour of world-crisis and world- 
opportunity for His Church! 

The idea that a church, local or denominational, 
is a body of people holding similar views and agree- 
able to each other, the idea that lies at the basis of 
the divisions that infect American Protestantism, 
is a mistaken notion. The Church ought to be 
composed of persons of all Christian views and 
should teach and lead all classes and all men to 
live and work harmoniously together. Affinity 
of tastes, of doctrinal views, of governmental con- 
cepts, of social standing, ought not to be the occa- 
sion of cleavage in the body of Christ. The 
Church is not a social club or a labour guild. It is a 



44 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



unitary representative of the Kingdom and as such 
it must be broad and comprehensive enough to in- 
clude all men who acknowledge the leadership of 
Christ and to provide a ministry to all of man. 
The tests of church membership therefore must be 
the tests of citizenship in the Kingdom. Christian 
statesmanship must, must function here, but to do 
so the Church must be brought to see the sin of her 
division and led to repentance. 

Repent and bring forth fruit meet for repent- 
ance. " But we don't know how," men say. Then 
on bended knee, seek the way. Seek it till it be 
found. There is a way. May our Master teach 
us the way and may He help us to be ready to do, 
to suffer whatever may be necessary to secure 
pardon for this sin of the Church and of our 
hearts ! The hour for Christian union has struck. 
Let the Christian Church find a way or make one 
for its glorious realization. Repent, O Churches 
of Christ, of your sectarianism, and bring forth 
fruits meet for repentance. 



II 



THREE FUNDAMENTAL GOODS 

THESE days of reconstruction further 
challenge every ideal of life. The times 
are perilous. Change, unrest, dissatis- 
faction, uncertainty — such are the characteristics 
of the hour. Sad is the decline of idealism since 
November 11, 1918. Ideals always unite. It is 
the distribution of the victory achieved through 
loyal devotion to ideals that divides and segregates. 
The finest altruism of history inspired our people 
as we took up the cause of humanity in the World 
War. No such instance of sacrifice on the na- 
tional scale has appeared in all history as the spirit 
in which America entered the war on behalf of 
human right and freedom. President Wilson was 
during these trying days the spokesman of the 
nation's purpose, a genuine preacher of righteous- 
ness. The heart of the people safely trusted in 
him. 

But behold our situation to-day ! Altruism de- 
parted when the Versailles Peace Conference as- 
sembled. The League of Nations designed to em- 
body in solemn compact the noble ideals for which 
we entered the war has been unable to command 
the approval of our Senate on purely nationalistic 
grounds. Selfishness has gained the ascendency 

45 



46 THE CHUKCH IN THE PBESENT CEISIS 



among our lawmakers. Party politics and the 
scramble for partisan advantage have dishonoured 
the noble idealism actuating our nation in its war 
activities. Class is now arrayed against class. 
Strikes, lockouts, bitterness, distrust — these fill the 
headlines of our newspapers and crowd our life 
with anxious cares. The very foundations of life 
and of character appear to be giving away. In 
such a time we can do no better thing than take 
stock of the fundamental goods underlying our 
structure of life, since they are the rudder of our 
hopes, the polar star of our purposes and aspira- 
tions. 

And let it be remembered before such inven- 
tory is attempted that even the severest storm at 
sea does not so much as disturb the tiniest grain 
of sand resting peacefully on the bottom of the 
ocean. Calm and serene and undisturbed it rests 
there, oblivious of all the tumultuous upheaval on 
the surface above. So it is in the social order. 
There is no occasion for pessimism. Though the 
sea of our life be tossed with giant billows of un- 
rest, though wreckage of ideals greet the eye on 
every hand, down beneath the surging mass of 
confusion lie the stable bulwarks of wholesome 
living, the foundations of life and of the social 
order, unshaken, serene, prophetic of the ultimate 
triumph of that altruism which in our best mo- 
ments has ever brought out the noblest in men. 
Steadfast, sure, indestructible are the fundamental 



THEEE FUNDAMENTAL GOODS 47 



goods of life. In such an hour as this they are 
the anchors of the soul, the spur to noble en- 
deavour, the inspiration to carry on to completion 
the work so nobly begun. 

I. God 

And the first of these goods is God. God is 
good. Let us never forget that fact. God is no 
absentee landlord, interested only in collecting the 
rent from His tenants. He is no outraged auto- 
crat, dealing out justice to His miserable and 
recreant subjects. He is vitally interested in 
everything that touches our life and He wills only 
the best for each of us. He is " our Father," our 
Heavenly Father, our loving Heavenly Father. 
He is more ready to bless than we are to be 
blessed. Through the centuries He has been pa- 
tiently endeavouring to reveal Himself to us, first 
through the law, then by the prophets, then 
through thelife and sacrifice of His Son, and now 
through His Holy Spirit witnessing in the hearts 
of right-visioned men. In moments of holy ex- 
altation in these days our great-souled seers catch 
luminous glimpses of our Heavenly Father's pur- 
poses for us and always they discover He is good. 

When the war broke out and atrocities more 
befitting savagery than civilization were per- 
petrated by those who represented themselves as 
the most enlightened people of the world, ah ! well 
do we recall the dismay that came upon all. 



48 THE CHUEOH IN THE PKESENT CRISIS 



" God does not care for us," " The Church of 
Christ has failed," — these and similar outbursts 
of despair were heard on every hand. But the 
men in the trenches did not find it so. " The Com- 
rade in White " was personally known to thou- 
sands there and the goodness of God, despite the 
suffering and hardship of their life, comforted 
them in every experience. And out of the carnage 
and death over there, these men came to an under- 
standing of the goodness of God, of His loving 
concern for all our life, that to the world at large 
and to them in particular is worth all the terrible 
cost of its comprehension. 

God is good and everything He created is good. 
What makes it seem otherwise is the limitation of 
our knowledge. There is no standing room for 
the pessimist in all the universe of God's benevo- 
lence. Malthus may proclaim a pessimistic theory 
of population, but the verdict of experience is 
against him, for with every increase of population 
God provides new resources of sustenance for the 
fuller and ampler development of life. The in- 
telligent understanding of the laws of God's uni- 
verse and the application of those laws to the 
support of life, or what is the same thing, the 
discovery of God's purpose for us and cooperation 
with Him in working it out, such is the answer to 
Malthus and all other pessimists. God is good, 
altogether good, benevolent, loving in His designs 
for and dealings with us. Let us never in any 



THREE FUNDAMENTAL GOODS 49 



moment of despair lose sight of this fact. It is 
fundamental for each life and for the larger social 
order in which each life is to express itself. 

II. Man 

And the second good grows readily out of the 
first, man too is good. We must be as ready to 
believe this and to live in accordance with it as we 
are to believe that God is good and live conform- 
able to that truth. It is easy to believe that some 
men are good, but we must go further than that. 
We must understand that all men everywhere are 
good, essentially and fundamentally good, or else 
God cannot be good. A good Creator could not 
create an evil creature and continue to be good. 
Any belief in the essential iniquity of our brothers 
is slander of God. We cannot believe in the good- 
ness of God and deny the goodness of our brother- 
men or of ourselves. " And God saw everything 
that He had made, and, behold, it was very good " 
(Gen. 1: 31). 

How then shall we account for the evil in our 
life? How then shall we account for the United 
States Senate? How shall we account for 
Germany? How shall we account for this latter 
day Americanism ? These questions are really one 
and are readily answered. The solution of the 
problem of evil in a world created by a beneficent 
Being is no discredit of that Being. Such a situa- 
tion is necessarily possible in the development of 



60 THE CHUECH IN THE PKESENT CRISIS 



moral freedom. God could have made us all per- 
fect and have kept us free from evil or error. He 
did not elect to do so, because then sweet freedom 
would have been denied us, and freedom is the 
most cherished attribute of our nature. God cre- 
ated us in His own image. He is free, and so are 
we. Being free, we can choose to do good or evil 
and in our limited sphere of knowledge we have 
often chosen evil. This is not God's will con- 
cerning us. His great, loving heart aches when 
we choose the evil way rather than the good. But 
He loves us still, is ready to forgive us, yearns to 
reinstate us to fellowship and harmony with His 
own goodness. Were He in anger to afflict us 
for our misdeeds He would not be good. Were He 
to have denied us freedom, we could not choose 
the good, and moral excellency would be impos- 
sible for us to achieve. He made us in His own 
image, and the evil in us and in our life is due to 
our departure from the type of our fundamental 
nature. The doctrine of total depravity to which 
reference has already been made, — whence came 
it anyway? It is now fully discredited, wars, and 
rumours of wars, selfishness and iniquity to the 
contrary notwithstanding. No man can look upon 
the sweet face of a new-born babe and believe in 
total depravity. This outworn theory of human 
nature was manufactured out of the fertile imagi- 
nation of musty theologians in the attempt to ac- 
count for the wreckage of life as witnessed in 



THEEE FUND A MEHTAL GOODS 61 



adults who had misused their freedom and in sup- 
port of an untenable theory of salvation. We 
have reversed the process of generalization now, 
and take our start not from some pitiable derelict 
of humanity, but from the innocent babe made in 
the image of God. And our problem is not so 
much how to get the evil out of life, as how to 
keep it from getting into the life at all. We rec- 
ognize the perfection of man as ideally set forth 
by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount. And we 
deny the sophistry of Dr. Deems, who proposed 
that we should regard the total race as depraved, 
while denying the total depravity of the individual. 

This brings up the whole question of religious 
education, in the home, the citadel of Christian 
nurture; in the public school, the melting pot of 
all ideals; in the play life, capable of teaching to 
youth the very finest principles of conduct ; in the 
industrial life, crying out in its chaotic rivalries 
for the brotherhood of man; in the Church, the 
seminary of spiritual democracy, sanctifying in 
the spirit of the Nazarene the whole of life. Re- 
ligious education is the hope of the world, pro- 
vided it has the Christian basis. Too often we 
have waited till the child has become the hardened 
sinner. The history of the world reveals very 
few Samuels, dedicated in their childhood to the 
Kingdom and nurtured at every stage of their 
ripening life in the ideals that make choosing good 
the normal and natural in conduct. It is well to 



52 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



convert the hardened sinner, but it is better to 
train the child so that it will not become a hard- 
ened sinner at all. It is beautiful to throw out the 
life-line to a shipwrecked brother, but it is better 
to construct a ship that can withstand the storm 
and the waves. Revivals are good, but the orderly 
bringing up of young life in the nurture and ad- 
monition of the Lord is better, so that in the mo- 
ment of awakening conscience the soul of the 
child shall as readily acknowledge Jesus as 
Saviour as the sparks fly upward. 

What responsibility therefore rests upon adults, 
and upon parents and religious teachers in par- 
ticular! Let us at once acknowledge our obliga- 
tions to God and to the youth around about us 
to give ourselves to this privilege of our seniority 
as the finest avenue of our service to mankind. 
The man who devotes himself in consecration to 
making conditions wholesome for the fruition of 
young life will know the real satisfaction of liv- 
ing. He may never acquire fame or wealth, but 
he will acquire a crown of righteousness which can 
never be taken from him. Those of us who have 
the prospect of long years of service can select no 
worthier field of investing our life than in guiding 
the steps of the young into paths of holy and 
righteous conduct. We are responsible for our 
young brothers and sisters. They hopefully look 
to us. God cannot hold us guiltless if we fail in 
any particular to give the best we have to these 



THEEE FUNDAMENTAL GOODS 53 



whose dependence upon us is the divinest chal- 
lenge to us to invest ourselves for the God Who 
is good and Who has made us and them good. 

III. The Organized Life of Man 
And this brings us to the third fundamental 
good, of which we must not in this day even for 
a moment lose sight, that the organized life of 
man, too, is good. We need this steadying con- 
cept constantly in the foreground of our con- 
sciousness in these tumultuous and trying days of 
unrest and uncertainty. The arrogant Bolshevist, 
the defiant Red, shall not, we pray, weaken our 
faith in the essential goodness of the organized 
life of man. The Bolshevist and the Red are our 
brothers too, our brothers in very deed, but with 
mistaken notions as to the innate iniquity of the 
organized life of men. There is no denying the 
fact that injustice and oppression have embittered 
these brothers of ours against the social order and 
led them to array themselves against all social 
authority as essentially evil and iniquitous. We 
owe these brothers of ours not vituperation, not 
wholesale denunciation, not bonds and imprison- 
ment, but a social order purified of evil and in- 
spired with brotherhood. To renounce the gov- 
ernment we have would bring us naught but an- 
archy, a social order essentially anti-social and so 
destructive of our very life. Liberty devoid of 
social conscience is anarchy and anarchy is but an- 



64 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



other name for the destruction of all freedom. 
There can be no freedom, not even existence, 
where every man is a law unto himself. 

Those of us, therefore, who have seen that the 
organized life of man is good, even as God is 
good and as the men who constitute that life are 
good, have a duty of enlightenment to perform for 
our day, a solemn duty capable of great better- 
ment for the race. It will require courage of the 
sternest quality to perform this duty, but we dare 
not shirk it. Our situation is not more difficult 
than Paul's in the first Christian century. The 
Roman Government was in those days persecuting 
the infant Church. Yet Paul counselled obedi- 
ence to constituted authority and declared that the 
Christians need not fear it if they did good only in 
their lives. He went further and called the 
Roman magistrate a " minister of God." What a 
changed world this would be to-day, were all men 
to recognize the officers of the law to be what 
Paul declared the Roman magistrates to be, min- 
isters of God! 

And yet is this not exactly what they are? God 
is partner in all our life. He uses the instrumen- 
talities of our creation as avenues of expression for 
His purposes and plans for our life. Because the 
instrumentality in some particular is imperfect, 
He does not decline to work through it. His 
method is through the good we have to lead us to 
the better we may attain and on to the best to 



THEEE FUNDAMENTAL GOODS 55 



which we are as His children the rightful heirs. 
Let us speak this message to the dissatisfied of our 
brothers to-day. Let us agree with them that im- 
perfection is present. Let us remotivate them so 
that they shall be sympathetic with the orderly 
processes of social development and zealous co- 
workers in making the social order good through- 
out. 

But in respect to our fundamental view that the 
organized life of man is good and that social con- 
trol is good we can entertain no compromise. 
Our radical brethren must be brought to accept 
this view-point or we can never cooperate with 
them nor they with us. In so far as the Bolshe- 
vist and the Red discern the imperfections of our 
social organized life, we will labour with them to 
eradicate those evils. But in so far as they aim at 
the destruction of all social control, we are against 
them. We earnestly hope we can convince them 
of the error in their conception, but if we cannot, 
we must in the interest of the highest good in life 
resist any attempt on their part to overthrow the 
good we have. It is no more unchristian to fight 
even to the extent of bloodshed for the salvation 
of the social order than it was for our Master to 
shed His blood for the world's salvation. 

Our day needs to understand that authority is 
not evil. Misdirected authority is evil, but a more 
fatal evil still would be for each individual to act 
for his own selfish interest alone. Freedom we 



56 THE CHUKCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



have said is essential to us as creatures made in the 
image of God, but freedom is a social fact as well 
as an individual prerogative. No man can live to 
himself. My freedom ends where my brother's 
freedom begins, and all the rest of our relation- 
ship must be worked out in the spirit of social 
brotherhood and equality. So it is that social con- 
trol becomes essential to life, and anything that is 
essential to life is good, since God is good and 
man is good. The goodness of the one necessi- 
tates the goodness of the three. 

Youth in this day chafes under parental author- 
ity, and yet parental authority is absolutely es- 
sential to the perpetuity and proper functioning of 
the home. It is true that the Puritanic home is 
gone. It was right that it should go. It was 
autocratic and therefore unfit to abide, just as 
autocracy in Government has had to yield to the 
demand for democracy. But parents are not for 
this reason to resign their fundamental duty to 
exercise proper authority in training up their chil- 
dren. God expects it of them, and in case parents 
are unable properly to govern their children, in the 
larger interest of mankind the State reserves the 
right to step in and take the child away from such 
incompetent parents, I have not myself lost hope 
of the American home. My faith in it is based on 
the serious concern throughout the nation for 
proper conceptions of religious education which we 
have said is the hope of the world. 



V 

\ 

- \ 



III 

CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD 

NO age has comprehended the whole of 
Christian truth. It does not become our 
age to discredit its predecessors which 
failed to emphasize the truth we consider essen- 
tially fundamental to the Christian program. All 
the truth that the spiritual seers have discovered 
in all the generations of the Church is truth still 
and it is our privilege to enjoy it and more, to 
practise it in our life. We must not in the ampler 
joy of our present-day social conceptions of the 
Christian program forget the truth that elicited 
the best in men of former generations in which the 
gospel was regarded primarily as a preparation of 
the individual soul for the Heavenly inheritance 
beyond " this vale of tears." For the gospel is 
both a personal salvation and a social program, a 
social program because of its boon of personal 
salvation and as proof of its genuineness. 

In this chapter we shall consider the implica- 
tions, nay, the obligations of the social program, 
with no thought of minimizing the importance of 
the personal reconcilement with God which is the 

57 



58 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



basis of its hope. Let us pause long enough to 
say in passing to our general theme that the Chris- 
tian who professes the regenerating presence of 
the Spirit and who denies the social obligation its 
enjoyment imposes is making the victory of the 
cause of Christ more arduous and postponing its 
ultimate consummation. Nay more, he is jeop- 
ardizing his own salvation. 

It was possible for an age that had not com- 
prehended the social program of Jesus to be saved 
in the light of the truth it knew, just as it was pos- 
sible for the Pharisees to be saved by the technical 
and ritualistic requirements of their law previous 
to the coming of the Light. But when the Light 
had come and they still clung to their rules and 
regulations in desperation, even doing to death the 
Teacher Who taught the fuller truth, their legal- 
ism became a spiritual leprosy without saving in- 
fluence for the life. So in our day the Christian 
who refuses to embrace the social program of the 
Christ with the martyr's devotion, with the cru- 
sader's passion for service, is destined to lose his 
love for Christ. This law is written in the phys- 
ical nature of man and exemplified in all the nat- 
ural world. Faculties which we do not employ 
atrophy. The fish in Mammoth Cave have no 
eyes. Whales once had hands, and according to 
some scientists certain monkeys lost their caudal 
appendages from sheer disuse as they became 
men. 



CHRISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD 59 



We must not then expect it otherwise in the 
spiritual realm. The primal impulse of the Chris- 
tian new-birth is to impart to others the joy of 
our salvation in Christ. The Christian is first and 
foremost a missionary zealot and a soul winner. 
Witness the conquest of the Roman Empire in the 
first three centuries of the faith, glorious days 
those in which every humblest Christian was a 
firebrand for the proclamation of the truth. And 
when the Church lost her missionary zeal she lost 
her uplifting power in the lives of men. So too 
to-day the individual Christian cannot be content 
to enjoy his religion alone. He cannot keep it to 
himself. He must communicate it like a contagion 
or it will secrete in his own veins a deadly virus 
of selfishness which eventually will poison the 
vitals of his own faith. There is no self-salva- 
tion. Our program of redemption must include 
with our self all mankind or it is fundamentally de- 
fective and will lead to our spiritual decay. Do 
you wish Scripture for it? Then read 1 John 
3:17: " But whoso hath this world's good and 
seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his 
bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the 
love of God in him ? " How ? Nohow. It is 
impossible to continue to love God and not share 
with our brothers everywhere the joys of His sal- 
vation. The finest fruit of Christian character is 
seen not in the isolated contemplation and per- 
sonal aloofness of the hermit or the monastery, 



60 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



but in the busy whirl of life, in the highways and 
byways, in the deserts and waste places of the 
earth, everywhere that our brotherman is found 
and is not equal in opportunity to know and un- 
derstand the will of our common Heavenly Fa- 
ther for him. And the penalty for not accepting 
the obligation of this Christian knight-errantry is 
loss from the life of the love we have for God. 

Note carefully the statement of this penalty. 
It is not a judgment pronounced on the offender 
by an angry judge nor visited upon him by an 
outraged social order. Strictly speaking, it is not 
a penalty at all, but simply the sloughing off proc- 
ess of a deadly gangrene. The impulse to altru- 
ism, to brotherhood, to sharing our good with our 
needy brothers, which is the natural impulse of 
the regenerated soul, is not exercised, despite the 
knowledge the new-born Christian has of his 
brothermen's needs, and as the inevitable conse- 
quence the love he had for God dies in him. It is 
spiritual suicide we commit when we fail to recog- 
nize and to practise the obligations of Christian 
knighthood. 

Let us do God justice in such a situation. Let 
us never forget He is love. No matter how far 
we may stray from His purpose for us, no matter 
how deep we may sink in sin and uncleanness, He 
loves us still and is ever ready to welcome us 
prodigals back to fellowship and sonship again. 
We alienate ourselves from Him. He never 



CHEISTIAK KNIGHTHOOD 61 



alienates Himself from us. We cease to love 
Him. He never ceases to love us. And our sins 
become unpardonable only when we have strayed 
so far from Him that we have become spiritually 
blind and incapable of differentiating evil and 
good, being so spiritually lunatic that we ascribe 
to Beelzebub the loving promptings of the Fa- 
ther's heart. 

I never like to think on the consequences of 
failure to do full Christian duty. I prefer to re- 
verse the picture and consider the blessings of 
such service, for in the spiritual ministration such 
service involves the deeper joys of the soul are ex- 
perienced. The Christian life that undertakes 
for Christ on behalf of brothermen the obligations 
of the social gospel discovers new vistas of en- 
trancing beauty, inviting to constantly increasing 
joy. Life is roseate to such a soul and to it the 
windows of spiritual perception open wide with 
visions of a new heaven and a new earth adorning 
the picture on every hand — a new heaven to be 
achieved by the realization of a new earth here 
and now, wherein Christian men are to realize 
the spiritual message to our day of Joseph's word 
to his brethren: " Ye shall not see my face, except 
your brother be with you," and wherein they are 
gladly to accept the obligations such Christian 
knighthood involves. 

What does Christian knighthood of the twen- 
tieth century involve? 



62 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



I. Brotherhood 

It involves first of all the recognition of broth- 
erhood, a brotherhood not of race, nor of colour, 
nor of social status, nor of sex, nor of political 
or religious sectism, but a brotherhood as wide as 
the universe and as all-inclusive. In this brother- 
hood there is to be no distinction of persons nor 
of sexes nor of nations. It is the very opposite of 
classism. It is brotherhood we must have in the 
new day of Christian knighthood. The torn and 
baffled world needs to understand this in our day, 
a day in which classes are arrayed against each 
other and in which the partisan spirit overpowers 
the saner judgments of the hearts of men. We 
shall never settle the industrial problem by ad- 
justments of the grievances labour and capital 
have against each other. Labour and capital must 
recognize that they are brothers together and that 
they are both brothers to the larger public vitally 
concerned in the outcome of their disagreement. 
But even this is not enough. These three parties 
must recognize that God, too, is concerned in the 
issues involved in their controversy and that the 
Sermon on the Mount has applications to modern 
industrial problems. Only in so far as the teach- 
ings of Jesus are faithfully applied in the present 
unrest of the world can that unrest be removed. 

I am very happy to find that the world of in- 
dustry is beginning to see this. This past April 
(1920) Swift & Co. had a dispute with five hun- 



CHEISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD 63 



dred and fifty of the employees of their branch 
houses. John J. Walsh, a commissioner of the 
United States Department of Labour, sent to ar- 
bitrate the case, preached a sermon to them on 
the necessity of returning to Christ's teachings. 
The strike was immediately settled. The Ohio 
Valley Trades and Labour Assembly also last 
April passed the following resolutions: 

" First, be it hereby resolved, that we, duly 
elected delegates representing all organized crafts 
of the Wheeling district, do hereby unanimously 
declare it our belief that the teachings of Christ 
constitute a program upon which all men can 
agree. 

" Secondly, that we believe they can be applied 
to modern industrial problems. 

" Thirdly, that we will cooperate with those 
who will join with us in an earnest endeavour to 
apply His teachings in the Wheeling district." 

This is -the first authentic instance wherein 
either labour or capital has gone on record as 
officially endorsing the teachings of Jesus as fun- 
damental in industry, but it will not be the last 
such instance. Jesus has a message for the unrest 
of the world, be it in industry, in the home, in 
the innocent play-life of gay-hearted boys and 
girls, in political and social quarters, in the inter- 
national relationships of men and nations, in the 
choice days of college life, everywhere, and that 
message is the cheering challenge of our brother- 



U THE CHUEOH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



hood. It is the first involvement of true Christian 
knighthood. 

II. Ministry to the Weak 
And the second is like unto it, the recognition 
of the obligation of the strong to minister to the 
weak. You do not find such teachings anywhere 
except in the gospel. Nature does not help us 
here. Nature disdains the weak and lets it perish 
in its weakness. Savages refuse to rear weakly 
and deformed children and mercilessly kill their 
aged or leave them in the desert or wilderness to 
starve. But the glory of the Christian teaching 
is that these weak ones have claims on the strong 
and that the strong in meeting these obligations 
upon their strength come into the real essence of 
Christian satisfaction. We must never use our 
superior advantages whether of knowledge, or 
skill, or experience, or age, to the discomfort or 
the exploitation of our less favoured brothers, and 
we will not if we are truly Christian. Rather we 
will do all that in us lies to bring these weaker 
brothers of ours into the state of our strength and 
we will do this for Christ as well as for their 
sakes. 

How different the philosophy of the world! 
Its characteristic attitude is selfish. Its big verb 
is get. Its master passion is to impose its will on 
others, its goal the extension of its sway over all 
weaker than itself. " The survival of the fittest " 



CHKISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD 65 



is its choice dictum, and the fittest it interprets to 
be the strongest. But Jesus says " Not so. Lift 
up the weak that ye may be altogether strong. 
Ye shall not see My face except your weaker 
brothers be with you. I gave My all for you. 
Give yourselves that the weak ones of the earth 
may enjoy My salvation. Such is the requirement 
of the brotherhood My father sent Me to initiate 
among men and which I commissioned you to 
carry to the ends of the earth. And lo! I am 
with you even until it is accomplished." 

Such teaching involves necessarily the dignity, 
the worth- whileness, the goodness of the individ- 
ual soul. The program of Jesus is the efferves- 
cence of a dreamer unless man is worth saving, is 
capable of salvation, and is essentially good. Evil 
is present in the world now, far too much evil. 
But God made it good. Our straying away from 
Him has made us evil. He created us good in His 
own image. He made nature good, too. That 
wizard of Santa Rosa, Luther Burbank, has dem- 
onstrated that the thorns and poisonous juices in 
plants were not there by divine design, but that 
the hardness of their struggle to live caused them 
to develop these hurtful things as means of pro- 
tection against enemies. And so He has taken the 
thorn out of the cactus and also its poison and 
given it a mission of service to mankind rather 
than one of enmity and hate through efforts at 
self-aggrandizement. What a challenge this to 



66 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS t 



the Christian knight to redeem the warped and 
maimed spirits of the race from the thorns and 
poisons that render their lives obnoxious! And 
what further challenge to throw around the lives 
of the young those wholesome and helpful and 
nurturing influences able to keep them from ever 
developing thorns and poisons requiring later to be 
removed. 

III. Making Life Wholesome to All 
Which leads us to the third obligation of Chris- 
tian knighthood, the obligation to make the con- 
ditions of life wholesome, helpful, Christian. 
The social order must be Christianized and ren- 
dered a wholesome place for the development of 
life. We are learning now that the Church is 
more than a rescue station. We will not abandon 
our life-saving stations, but we will dredge the 
rivers, remove the hidden rocks, and faithfully 
chart every place of danger, constructing the best 
ships conceivable that shipwrecks of life may be 
the unnatural and abnormal experiences of living. 
We will provide homes for drunkards, but we will 
also banish the saloon. We will erect Florence 
Crittenden homes, but the White Slave Traffic 
shall be outlawed. Houses for the cure of 
" dope " patients we will mercifully maintain, but 
we will put " dope " dispensers out of business. 
Jails and penitentiaries we will have, but we will 
see to it that they are what they were originally 



CHKISTTAN KXIGHTHOOD 



67 



intended to be, places where the unfortunate in- 
mates, our brothers, may be brought to penitence 
for their anti-social conduct and reclaimed to the 
society of human brotherhood. Institutions for 
juvenile offenders will be founded as well as for 
the deaf, and the dumb, and the blind, but we 
will at the same time adjust ourselves to the study 
of the conditions producing such dereliction 
among our fellows and in the end render such in- 
stitutions unnecessary. By such Christian prac- 
tice we will Christianize the social order, spiri- 
tualize it, until this earth shall become the King- 
dom of our Lord and of His Christ. 

And this brings me to say in concluding this 
section that the motive principle of all our under- 
takings in the cause of Christian knighthood must 
be love for our brothermen. We are not to serve 
them or their interests in a patronizing spirit. 
We are not to do things for them, but with them. 
There is to be no atmosphere of superiority as we 
approach the compelling obligations of this new 
crusade. All that we do will be done as for 
Christ, in the spirit of brotherhood and equality. 
This the welfare workers have not always compre- 
hended. Many a Christian captain of industry 
has been hopelessly disappointed to find that his 
efforts to provide helpful surroundings for the in- 
dustrial community and for social life of his em- 
ployees were not appreciated. Many a foreman 
in a shop has been confused to find the men not 



68 THE OHUEOH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



satisfied with their working conditions, which met 
all the requirements for safety and comfort. 
Why? Because these rightful things, these help- 
ful things, were provided in a condescending 
spirit. The modern labourer insists on having a 
voice in all these matters. Industrial democracy 
he calls it. He does not care for paternalism. It 
belittles his soul and diminishes his self-respect. 
He wishes his manhood to be respected and his 
equality acknowledged, all of which will be fully 
granted him where love prompts to noble action. 

Love — that is what we must have. Love the 
greatest of the Christian graces, love the noblest 
of the Christian virtues. Christian knighthood in 
these reconstruction days is based on this hallow- 
ing passion, a love that speaks " with the tongues 
of men and of angels " in the name and for the 
sake of Christ, and yet is not " as sounding brass, 
or a tinkling cymbal," because it flows from hearts 
consecrated in Christian brotherhood; a love that 
has " the gift of prophecy " for our troubled time, 
that "understands all mystery," including the 
mystery of sorrow and suffering and sin in a 
world created good and glad, and that has all the 
" knowledge " necessary to make it good and glad 
again as God intended because of its " faith " in 
Him and in brotherman; a love that bestows all 
its " goods to feed the poor," that gives its " body 
to be burned," in response to the call of brother- 
hood; a love that "suffereth long and is kind," 



CHKISTIAN KNIGHTHOOD 69 



that "envieth not," that "vaunteth not itself, is 
not puffed up," that " doth not behave itself un- 
seemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily pro- 
voked, thinketh no evil;" a love that " rejoiceth 
not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;" that 
" beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all 
things, endureth all things " for the sake of broth- 
ermen; a love that no matter how besotted in sin 
a brother may be nor how intrenched in law or 
custom a social evil may have become, "never 
faileth " to believe that the brother may be re- 
claimed to brotherhood with man and sonship with 
God and that the evil may be eradicated from the 
social order. 

In such a love is the hope of Christian knight- 
hood. To the obligations of this Christian order 
of service let us devote ourselves and all we have 
in the spirit of such a love. " And now abideth 
faith," faith in the ultimate triumph of the pro- 
gram of Christian knighthood, " hope," hope that 
God will find us willingly serviceable in realizing 
this program ; and " love," that shall know no 
bounds in its outreach and its in-take in response 
to the obligations of this knighthood, " these 
three; but the greatest of these is love." Let it 
not fail us nor us it in this choicest hour of Chris- 
tian history. In fidelity to this love, we shall see 
our Master's face, for our brother will be with 
us. 



IV 



A PROGRAM OF CHRISTIAN 
STATESMANSHIP 

THIS chapter is no wail of despair, no de- 
mand that we go back. It is rather con- 
ceived as the beacon of hope and the 
challenge to the Church to go forward. Our hope 
is false, however, and our aspiration to go for- 
ward vain unless founded on the solid basis of 
facts, wherein all the elements of our situation are 
clearly understood. 

Nor is this chapter the doleful note of the 
pessimist. It is not pessimism for a physician to 
diagnose the disease of his patient. Nor is it pes- 
simism to point out the weakness of a cause we 
love, for which we would willingly give our lives 
either in sacrifice or in service, as the occasion 
may demand. 

Protestantism is not now that perfected Chris- 
tianity to which all true Christians look with hope- 
ful eyes. It is the best type of Christianity that 
has yet appeared, recognizing as it does the free- 
dom of the individual and the priesthood of each 
believer, insisting on the brotherhood of man as 

70 



CHBISTIAN STATESMANSHIP 71 

the only defensible attitude of men and women 
who have a common Heavenly Father, and result- 
ing when it has ideally, developed in democracy in 
every realm of life whether it be political, domes- 
tic, industrial, social, educational, or religious, for 
God is no respecter of persons nor of classes. Yet 
in spite of its excellences there are defects, reme- 
diable of course, still defects that the honest Chris- 
tian must face and willingly undertake to correct. 

This chapter, however, does not permit us to 
enter into a discussion of these matters, however 
vital they are. Our immediate quest is for the 
weakest spot in Protestantism. What is it? 

The separation of Church and State, necessary 
to the very life of Protestantism, has left us the 
problem of educating the people in religion and 
our failure to do so constitutes for us Protestant- 
ism's weakest spot. Religion cannot be taught in 
public schools by public school teachers nor at the 
expense of the public. Our boys and girls attend 
the public schools, the disseminators of secular 
democracy. Their minds become highly trained, 
but their hearts are for the most part untouched. 
Democracy in government is dependent upon the 
Christian character of the citizenship composing 
its electorate. Education without Christian char- 
acter will prove democracy's undoing, just as in- 
tellect without conscience led Germany to her 
ruin. Herein is our weakest spot, our failure to 
provide adequate facilities of religious education 



72 THE CHUBCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



for our democracy. The boasted American free- 
dom will become license, her much-vaunted de- 
mocracy mobocracy unless we adjust ourselves 
successfully to the solution of this problem. 
What are the facts ? 

We have already seen that there are 43,000,000 
persons under twenty-five years of age in the 
United States. Of these 27,000,000 are not in any 
way touched by the religious education agencies 
now at work and the 16,000,000 who are touched 
receive only thirty minutes* instruction a week. 
These figures taken in connection with the further 
fact that more than fifty per cent, of the entire 
population never go to church give a rather 
sombre picture of our religious situation. In Vir- 
ginia, 860,080 young people twenty-five years of 
age and under are not in Sunday school ; in North 
Carolina, 885,540; in Georgia, 1,348,790; in Ala- 
bama, 1,100,350; in Delaware, 38,150; in West 
Virginia, 472,640; in the District of Columbia, 
75,920; in Maryland, 230,570. Similar figures 
are revealed for the other states. 

Only eleven of the 183 denominations in the 
country have more persons enrolled in their Sun- 
day schools than are on their Church rolls. The 
Free Methodist Church ranks highest, being 165.9 
per cent, and the Synodical Conference (Lu- 
theran) lowest with only 14.2 per cent. Protes- 
tantism will be bound to increase the membership 
of its Sunday schools or slowly die, for the Sun- 



CHKISTIAN STATESMANSHIP 73 



day schools are the source of Church membership, 
eighty-five per cent, of all church members coming 
from this source. 

In higher education we find a similar situation. 
There are 419 Church Colleges and there are 400,- 
000 college and university students. Thirty years 
ago the denominational colleges enrolled three- 
fifths of the college students. To-day the situa- 
tion is reversed, the institutions supported by taxa- 
tion enrolling three-fifths. One State University 
has an income of $3,075,409 and 5,716 students. 
Fifty of the best denominational colleges have 
a combined income of $2,927,814 and an enroll- 
ment of 13,357 students. The cost of instruction 
in a State University per student is $436 annually, 
in a denominational college $200. Of the gradu- 
ates of denominational colleges 21.3 per cent, enter 
the ministry, while barely one per cent, of the 
graduates of State Colleges enter the ministry. 

These are the facts. What is the problem? 

It is three-fold — adequately educating in re- 
ligion the 16,000,000 now enrolled in our Sunday 
schools ; reaching for the Kingdom the 27,000,000 
now untouched; and providing Christian leader- 
ship efficient and equal to the opportunity that 
challenges us to take America for Christ. Before 
we go further let us quote the great words of the 
Inter-Church World Movement that "spiritual 
illiteracy is the forerunner of moral bankruptcy 
and national decay " and that a " Church which 



74 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



cannot save its own children certainly cannot save 
the world." We must solve the problem of re- 
ligious education in American Protestantism or 
some other type of Christianity will arise to dis- 
place it. We can do it if we will. We can reach 
our young people for Christ and provide an ade- 
quate Christian leadership if we really undertake 
it with our characteristic determination and initia- 
tive. This will mean for Protestant Sunday 
schools to increase their enrollment one hundred 
and seventy per cent., and to have in our Christian 
Colleges 200,000 freshmen a year, if the Christian 
leadership for the Church is to be provided. Let 
us not think of the magnitude of the problem; 
let us think of its promise, the taking of America 
for Christ, and let us undertake it, no matter 
what it may cost. 

What is the way out ? 

The Church is under necessity we have said to 
construct a system of religious education paral- 
leling the public school system and equally effi- 
cient, ministering to the whole life of the whole 
community. Let us look specifically at this tri- 
partite remedy. 

What will be included in this proposed system 
of religious education? It will include the cradle 
roll, the organized graded Sunday school, the 
Home Department, the Christian College, summer 
schools of Christian methods for teachers, the 
Daily Vacation Bible School, week-day instruc- 



CHRISTIAN STATESMANSHIP 75 



tion in religion, Theological Seminaries with de- 
partments of Religious Education, and provision 
for teaching religion in the State and Independent 
Colleges and Universities. All of this cannot 
come at once, but it must come eventually and it 
will. 

It is not necessary that we discuss the first three 
elements of this system, since all recognize their 
need in the Church's program of religious educa- 
tion. The other seven items we shall examine 
briefly under five heads. 

I. Week-Day Instruction in Religion 
Thirty minutes a week are devoted to religious 
instruction and twenty-five hours spent in the pub- 
lic school. For the year, spent in public school 
900 hours, in Sunday school twenty-six hours. 
Will such a system produce spiritual prophets or 
materialists, worshippers of God or of Mammon? 

The child spends each week in sleep fifty-six 
hours and has eighty-five hours of leisure. Here 
is the Church's opportunity. A part of this time 
must be utilized for week-day instruction in re- 
ligion, either on a federated basis for the whole 
community or by the denominations acting in- 
dependently. Our children must not be allowed 
to grow up spiritual illiterates. Democracy can- 
not subsist save on a basis of Christian character. 
Thirty minutes a week is not ample for this pur- 
pose. Certainly it will cost money, but the Church 



76 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



that rides in automobiles and flies in aeroplanes 
cannot dare to withhold all that is necessary to 
provide for the spiritual welfare of its children. 
Week-day religious instruction is fundamental in 
Protestantism and essential for democracy.; 

II. Daily Vacation Bible Schools 
In the long good old summer-time when the 
public schools are closed and when the great army 
of American public school teachers are at home, 
what finer opportunity than this to teach religion 
could be desired? In city and small town and in 
the open country the Daily Vacation Bible School 
works well. The plan began in 1866 and has 
grown steadily ever since, until now more than 
a thousand such schools are in operation each 
summer. A typical day's program for such a 
school consists of an opening period of worship, 
music and calisthenics, Bible story or study and 
drill about thirty minutes, hand-work about an 
hour, play, closing exercises, home visitation and 
outings. The Daily Vacation Bible School does 
more to teach moral guidance than any other 
known agency. The alert Church will not neg- 
lect it. 

III. Teacher Training 
The teacher is the fate of the educational sys- 
tem. Fine buildings, good equipment, ideal cur- 
riculum are desirable, but good teachers, capable 



CHEISTIAN STATESMANSHIP 77 



teachers are necessary. Mark Hopkins on one 
end of a log and a boy on the other constitute a 
College, and what is the need of the log? The 
Church must provide for the training of its teach- 
ers. How ? There are various ways, all of which 
are good. A teacher training class for the local 
church, community teacher training schools, 
whether for town, city, or county, summer schools 
in denominational colleges or the famous interde- 
nominational camps. We are not wedded to any 
scheme, but we are profoundly convinced that it 
must be accomplished in some way. We cannot 
hold the 16,000,000 we now have in our Sunday 
schools nor hope to reach the 27,000,000 un- 
touched without a system of teacher training com- 
plete enough to give us trained teachers and super- 
visors. No matter what it may cost, we must do 
it. 

IV. Provision for Teaching Religion in 
State and Independent Colleges 
and Universities 
I have said it before and I must say it again, 
there is no finer mission field in America to-day 
than the campuses of our State and Independent 
Colleges and Universities. On these campuses are 
gathered together more than half the College and 
University students of the land. From these 
campuses will come more than half the leadership 
of the nation. Shall their outlook on life, their 



78 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 

motive principle of living, be material or spiritual, 
pagan or Christian? These institutions cannot 
answer. They cannot teach religion. The 
Churches must answer and we must find some 
way to instil in these future lawyers, business 
men, captains of industry, doctors, engineers, pub- 
lic school teachers, artists, and producers of ideals 
the spirit of the Man of Galilee. We cannot leave 
them to themselves, else we shall Prussianize our 
democracy. The Churches owe a solemn obliga- 
tion to these helpless institutions, helpless in the 
larger work of character development of the 
Christian type. A nation that cannot tram its 
secular leadership in terms of Christian character 
cannot long continue democratic. Somehow we 
must do it and in many places it is being done. 

V. Higher Education of the Christian 
Type 

But the leadership of the Church, the Christian 
statesmen of the Kingdom, can come only from 
Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities of 
the very highest type. We must instruct the stu- 
dents of the State and independent colleges and 
universities in religion that our secular leadership 
may be Christian, but all the history of the past is 
against the proposal to produce in these institu- 
tions leadership for the Kingdom's special work. 
It simply cannot be done. The only alternative is 
for the Church to strengthen her system of higher 



CHKISTIAN STATESMANSHIP 79 



education as the price of an efficient and spiritual 
leadership, whether of the pulpit or the pew. 

I know it is a new thought to conceive of the 
denominational college as bearing a direct rela- 
tionship to the Sunday school and as resting upon 
it for its support and patronage. Yet that is the 
situation. The public school system is crowned 
by the State normals, colleges, and universities. 
The public schools are made to feed their gradu- 
ates to these State schools through a process of 
interlocking and inspection. The Church must 
understand that her educational system begins 
with the Sunday school Cradle Roll, and ends with 
her colleges, seminaries and universities. The 
work of these various institutions must be viewed 
as the links of an endless chain, inseparably linked 
together in the work of the Kingdom. 

What is any particular denominational college? 
It is the Sunday schools of that institution's nor- 
mal constituency engaged in the work of higher 
education with the distinct motive to produce spir- 
itual leadership for all departments of Church and 
community life. What are the Sunday schools of 
any denomination? They are the source of supply 
for colleges of that denomination. What must 
the college undertake to do for these Sunday 
schools? Train leaders for pulpit and pew who 
will know the best methods of work and who will 
be motivated to undertake it in the spirit of Chris- 
tian service. What should these Sunday schools do 



80 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



for their College? Send their high school gradu- 
ates to her for their life training? What will be 
the result? A generation of trained Christian 
workers who will hold the pupils now in Sunday 
schools and add thereto the others they are respon- 
sible for in their territory. 

VI. The Whole Life 
Let us repeat now our definition of a states- 
manlike program of religious education: "The 
Church is under necessity to construct a system 
of religious education paralleling the public school 
system and equally efficient, ministering to the 
whole life of the whole community." We have 
described the necessary system of instruction for 
this program and indicated how its efficiency is to 
be guaranteed. It remains now for us to call 
special attention to the final qualifying phrase, 
" ministering to the whole life of the whole com- 
munity." 

The Church program of religious education has 
not aimed to do this, not even for those of its 
present membership, to say nothing of those out- 
side its membership. It has aimed to provide only 
for a very small portion of the life of the indi- 
vidual with practically no effort to help the com- 
munity as such. That is perhaps why we cannot 
hold those we have and fail to reach at all the 
great majority of the people. Our first duty is to 
inventory the community to discover what prob- 



CHKISTIAN STATESMANSHIP 81 



lems we have to solve, and then to prepare to min- 
ister to them. The intellectual, social, recrea- 
tional, home, industrial, health and other phases 
of our daily life are divine, too, and to them the 
Church owes a ministry of spirit and uplift. Her 
program of service must include the whole of life. 
Her system of religious education locally must be 
comprehensive enough to meet that responsibility. 

VII. The Local Church in This System 
What is the duty of the local Church in this 
system of religious education? 

To make its Sunday school the most efficient 
possible, beginning with its cradle roll, through 
all the organized departments, providing for week- 
day religious instruction for the young, arranging 
for the maintenance of a Daily Vacation Bible 
School, providing for training teachers, launching 
its program to include a wholesome ministry to 
the whole of life. So much for the local situation. 

It will constantly impress upon its pupils that 
their religious education will not be complete till 
they have passed through the various departments 
of the local school and into one of the regular 
working organizations of the Church and have 
graduated from the denominational college, the 
crown of the Sunday school's educational pro- 
gram. To insure this the officers will keep the col- 
lege constantly informed as to those about to grad- 
uate from the local high school and will frequently 



82 THE CHUKCH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



give a college turn to the thought of the whole 
school. This is fundamental if we are to 
strengthen the Sunday schools or develop the de- 
nominational college. For best results the local 
situation will call for an all-time director of re- 
ligious education. 

It will also through its benevolent members 
provide funds for the local budget and for the 
maintenance of the Church's system of higher 
education, for the denominational college of 
course and also for the teaching of religion in 
colleges and universities which cannot teach it 
themselves. 



V 



WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN? 

I. A Democrat 

DEMOCRACY is distinctively and es- 
sentially a Christian conception. No 
other religion ever contained such a doc- 
trine. Jesus of Nazareth was the world's original 
democrat. The religion He founded asserts as 
fundamental tenets — " all ye are brethren " and 
<f ye are members one of another." In no other 
religion will you discover such democratic teach- 
ing. Democracy cannot exist apart from the re- 
ligious motive as Jesus interprets it. 

The world has just gone through the agony of 
a war unequalled in magnitude and in horror, " to 
make the world safe for democracy." Some 
have essayed to say the slogan should have been 
" to make democracy safe for the world." If it 
be real democracy, it is safe for anything, for 
all the relations of man's life and for his Heavenly 
Home. 

Democracy, — what is it? The mutual recogni- 
tion of the rights of men? Yes, and far more. 
The brotherhood of man? Yes, provided its basis 

83 



84 THE CHUKCH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



be the Fatherhood of God. The brotherhood of 
man and the Fatherhood of God are the obverse 
and the reverse of the same spiritual coin. The 
one cannot be without the other. 

Christians are democrats in life's relations be- 
cause of their common parentage. God is their 
Father and with Him there is no respect of per- 
sons. The humblest savage and the highest-raised 
ruler of men are equally dear to Him. Welling- 
ton knew this when a poor man came to the altar 
to pray where he was kneeling, and the temple 
servant rebuked the poor man for presuming to 
kneel and pray beside the great Duke. The poor 
man humiliated would have arisen, had not Well- 
ington placed his arm around him and drawn him 
to his side, saying: " We are equals here. This is 
God's altar." 

It was the democracy of Christ's utterances that 
in a very real sense brought Him to the Cross. 
The rulers of the Jews were aristocrats. All aris- 
tocrats are abominations, but an ecclesiastical 
aristocrat is an unspeakable monster, because he 
claims divine sanction for his arrogance over his 
fellow-men. When the Galilean pronounced 
blessings upon the poor, pointed out the hypocrisy 
of the impertinent regulations of conduct through 
the " interpretations 99 the aristocrats had put on 
the Law, held them up to ridicule in the parable of 
the Pharisee and Publican, cleansed His Father's 
house, and styled them "ten-fold 1 children of 



WHAT IS A CHEISTIAN f 



85 



Hell," they had but one of two courses open to 
them — to resign their positions of authority and 
become democrats themselves, or to get rid of the 
annoying upstart teacher. The aristocrats had no 
trouble deciding which course they ought to pur- 
sue. Aristocrats never change their ideas. With 
them, as in Russia to-day and as it ever will be, 
it is a case of kill or be killed. They crucified 
Jesus, thinking to end the dangerous doctrine He 
had propounded. 

Not so. Democracy is indited in the heart of 
man. It is destined to overthrow aristocracy in 
religion, government, industry, social life, the 
home, everywhere. It may take a million years to 
do it, or ten million, but what is that ? Democracy 
is the cause of Christ. Upon it He staked His all, 
and before Him every knee shall bow in grateful 
appreciation and every tongue confess thanksgiv- 
ing for the democracy of love and life and mutual 
service He taught and lived. 

What does democracy require of the Christian? 
That he should live his brotherhood in all the re- 
lations of his life. Nor will it be a mechanical 
brotherhood to which his life will give expression. 
Vital concern for his brother, no matter where he 
may live, of what race he may be a member, of 
what religion's creed an adherent — vital concern 
for his brother will cause him as a Christian to 
share with that brother in every experience of life 
and he will not be satisfied till every brother of his 



86 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



in the wide, wide world has had equal opportunity 
with himself to liberty, to life, to the pursuit of 
life's best, and to the understanding of God's will, 
and all of his effort will flow from a heart of love. 
And when he has ended his service below, he will 
be ready for citizenship in the democracy of 
Heaven. Aristocrats will have a hard time in the 
democratic atmosphere of Heaven. Democrats 
have a hard time in this life, but Heaven will be to 
them the realization of their hearts' desires, where 
brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God find 
their full and complete fruition in the democracy 
of the redeemed. 

II. An Autocrat 

Yes, the Christian is an autocrat, too. The 
word itself is used in the original Greek of the 
New Testament and by one of the princes of the 
Christian Church in reference to himself. It is a 
pity that the King James translators did not ren- 
der the passage as it is. They are pardonable, 
however, because autocratic kings in those days 
were causing as much trouble as autocracy has 
occasioned in our day. There is no room for 
autocracy in the relations of men, one toward 
another. Democracy is the only defensible form 
of government. No man has the right nor can 
the right legitimately be conceded him to govern 
his brothers autocratically. 

But autocracy in its proper place is a blessing 



WHAT IS A CHKISTIAN? 



87 



and a benediction. To see wherein this is true let 
rae quote the passage I have above referred to: 
" For I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to 
be an autocrat " (Phil. 4: 11). Paul then goes on 
to say, " I know both how to be abased, and I 
know how to abound; everywhere and in all 
things I am instructed both to be full and to be 
hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." How 
beautiful! I want a religion like that. And then 
he rises to the highest pitch of exultant autocracy, 
when he says : " I can do all things through 
Christ." What a pity the King James translators 
left us with the idea of being " content " rather 
than of being " an autocrat " as God intended us 
to be! There is no passive contentment for the 
Christian. It would nullify the obligation of his 
democracy. But it was a comfortable conception, 
and most Christians, sad to say, have looked most 
especially for comfortable places in Zion. 

I am -an autocrat, but not with reference to my 
brothers. In my relationship with them I am a 
democrat. Wherein then does my autocracy ex- 
press itself ? In two directions. 

First, in reference to the material world. My 
autocracy does not consist in superiority over the 
material world as the pagan philosophers taught 
nor in my independence of the material world as 
the non-Christian religions teach. Not that I am 
not superior to and independent of the material 
things of life. I am both, should occasion arise, 



88 THE CHTJKCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



But my Christian autocracy raises me high above 
these conceptions and is something new in the 
world. It qualifies me to use the material world 
to advance my own life, a conception wholly 
Christian. That is why science has flourished in 
Christian lands. That is why the forces of na- 
ture have become the servants of the Christian 
nations. 

I was once talking with a sophomore in college 
who was having a hard time to reconcile religion 
and science. He was troubled deeply in spirit. 
We had talked for about an hour and I had en- 
deavoured as best as I could to reconcile his diffi- 
culties. Then an inspiration came to me. I asked 
him when men had begun to acquire the scientific 
knowledge we now have. He said it had prac- 
tically all come since the days of the Renaissance 
and had been opposed by religion at every step, 
having to force its right to recognition from un- 
willing religious leaders. It looked as if he had 
won, but I had had an inspiration and was willing 
to follow its lead. I asked him what nations had 
discovered the truths of science as we now have 
them. He answered properly, including England, 
France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and America. I 
then asked him what these nations had in common 
besides their science. He admitted it is the Chris- 
tian religion. " All right," I continued, " did you 
ever know a non-Christian nation to be scien- 
tific ? " He saw the point, that Christianity has 



WHAT IS A CHKISTTAN? 89 



been the fosterer of scientific discovery as it is of 
all truth, and that consequently there can be no 
irreconcilable conflict between science and religion, 
what now appearing to be so being due to our lim- 
ited knowledge or to our misinterpretation. It 
was easy then to lead him to accept Christ. 

We have achieved wonders in the realm of 
science and through invention made it the servant 
of our lives, but the end is not yet. As we ad- 
vance in our conceptions of the Christian life and 
of its truth the material world will serve us in ways 
undreamed and at this time undreamable. We 
have seen only the beginning of our autocracy as 
Christians over the material world created to serve 
us and pregnant with marvellous increase of min- 
istry for us as time unfolds. 

But in the second place we are autocrats with 
reference to our own spirits. We are as Chris- 
tians privileged to govern ourselves in such way 
that we shall be autocrats with reference to the 
material world. We will never allow wealth, or 
, pleasure, or appetite, or passion, or any other 
creature to enslave us. As Christian autocrats we 
shall rule our own spirits and bodies, as becometh 
children of the Most High. 

III. A Theocrat 
No race of men, however primitive, has been 
found without some conception of God. Man is 



90 THE CHUBCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



incurably religious. It is his faith in and worship 
of God that differentiates him from all other crea- 
tures of the universe. It is the most natural con- 
ception in the world then to think of man as a 
theocrat, a God-ruled person. 

The Jews carried the theocratic relationship of 
God to His people into the realm of government, 
and for a period of more than four centuries, 
from Joshua to Saul, recognized no ruler but 
Jehovah and the judges whom He called as tem- 
porary dictators in special crises. But even with 
the devout Hebrew the plan proved to be unwork- 
able. The social virtue of a people we now know 
must express itself in organized form. We must 
also remember that Samuel when the time had 
come for a change of government, made plain 
that the people were wrong not in wishing an or- 
ganized government, but in demanding a " king 
like the nations " round about them. The kings of 
those nations were autocrats and despots. But the 
people preferred even a ruler like that to the 
fanaticism of religious zealots who might any 
time represent themselves as the viceroys of God, 
and without any credentials. 

But theocracy as applied to the individual life 
is the normal experience of every Christian. It 
has been the experience, too, of our brothers of 
the other religions of the world. Partial though 
their conceptions of God have been, still their 
lives have in a sense been under the control of 



WHAT IS A CHBISTIAN! 91 



their god. The conception we have of God has 
tremendous influence over our life. 

Some religions conceive fear of God to be the 
prime virtue of their adherents. Others teach that 
He is indifferent to the life of His creatures. 
Some Christians even have represented Him as 
seated on a great throne, administering justice to 
His sinful children and unwilling to forgive them 
till His only begotten Son had died for their sins. 
Other Christians recognize Him to be our loving 
Heavenly Father, Who sent His only begotten Son 
to die that He might show forth the love of His 
own anguished soul for us, anguished because of 
our sins and of our misunderstanding of His great 
love for us. The different types of character that 
would result from these various conceptions of 
God are evident to all who recognize theocracy 
as the normal experience of the worshipping soul! 

The Christian conception of God as Father, as 
loving Heavenly Father, interested vitally and 
continuously in every life and in all of life, pres- 
ent in every experience of the individual soul, dig- 
nifies man and glorifies his life. How sweet and 
precious is the thought that God is present in all 
our experiences, not as a critic, not as a judge, but 
as the loving companionable Father we have 
found Him to be ! " In Him we live and move 
and have our being." 

In view of this splendid conception of the inti- 
mate relationship existing between God and man, 



92 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CRISIS 



what becomes of our distinction between sacred 
and secular, of our notion as to the special sanctity 
of certain places and times, of the division of our 
life into separate compartments such as physical, 
mental, moral, social, political, economic, indus- 
trial, spiritual? Do not all these concepts get 
their meaning from their relationship to our life, 
which " In Him " lives, moves, and has its being? 
Is our life many, or one? We will search in vain 
for our different categories of life in the Bible. 
They are not there. Jesus never thought of sav- 
ing men's souls apart from their bodies. He said 
He came that we might have life and have it more 
abundantly. Thank God, men have been increas- 
ingly entering into that life ever since, but we 
have not yet seen it in the fullness of its abun- 
dance. 

What effect will this theocratic relationship in 
my life have over me? It will cause me to recog- 
nize God in every experience. Whether I labour 
or play, whether I sleep or sing, whether I testify 
for Him by word or meditate on His loving kind- 
ness to me, everywhere and every-when I will " do 
all to the glory of God." To me as a Christian 
theocracy is the holiest relationship of my being. 
It keeps me consciously in His presence and exer- 
cises not only control over my conduct, but also 
supplies inspiration for every act of life. I am so 
glad I am a theocrat. 

In my relation toward my brothers, as a Chris- 



WHAT IS A CHKISTI AN f 93 



tian, I am a democrat; in my relations to the 
eternal issues of my own life and experience, I 
am a theocrat. Democrat, autocrat, theocrat, 
these three sum up the relationships of my soul, 
but the greatest and the holiest of these is theo- 
crat. 



VI 



SOME APPLICATIONS OF THE FOUR- 
SQUARE PRINCIPLE 

I. Growth 

THE New Jerusalem as the seer of Patmos 
observed it lay " four-square." Growth, 
too, expresses itself in the same way. 
Witness what is said of the growth of Jesus — 
"And the child grew in wisdom and in stature, 
and in favour with God and man." 

The normal life grows in these four directions. 
Only idiots fail to develop in wisdom. Growth in 
wisdom is to be distinguished from growth in 
book-knowledge. Wisdom ought to be enhanced 
by study in the schools, but the consequence does 
not necessarily follow. Many great scholars have 
lacked wisdom. Many wise men have lacked 
scholarship. Wisdom is discernment of the inner 
significance of the experiences of life and of the 
race. Jesus grew in wisdom and so should we. 

The physical dwarf is a monstrosity. So nat- 
ural and normal is physical growth that any in- 
terruption of it occasions surprise. But the de- 
velopment of a sound body is more than a matter 
of years. Positively speaking it includes also 

94 



THE FOUK-SQUAKE PKINCIPLE 95 



play, proper food, work, sleep, and the application 
of sanitary and hygienic principles. Negatively 
it includes abstention from all hurtful things, such 
as alcohol, tobacco, social impurity and intemper- 
ance in every form. Our bodies are the temples 
of the Holy Ghost and should be kept sacredly 
pure. 

The normal life can no more leave God out of 
its program than it can leave out food. " In Him 
we live and move and have our being." Jesus 
increased in favour with God. As we have larger 
experience and more ample opportunity, it is our 
pleasure, our joy, our privilege to merit His in- 
creasing favour. We should be scrupulously care- 
ful ever to choose His side of any question. 

And finally in order to be four-square our de- 
velopment should include the approval progress- 
ively of our fellow-man. This approval is not to 
be sought for by flattery or fawning. It is the 
legitimate by-product of the normal daily life well 
and conscientiously lived. The life that seeks 
popularity will not meet the test of four-square 
growth. The life that receives the favour of 
brothermen as an unearned increment of living is 
the real life that counts. Such a life may be 
crowned with a cross and terminated by nails 
driven through hands and feet and a javelin- 
pierced side, but such a life is worth all it costs. 
Earnestly seek it ; covet it. Such a life God yearns 
for each one of us to live for Him. 



96 THE CHTJECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



II. The Church 

The Church is preeminently a place of prayer. 
It would perhaps be nearer the truth to say that 
the life of the Church is dependent upon prayer. 
A praying Church is a victorious Church. Any 
other sort of Church is a weakling. How the 
spirit is revived in the house of prayer ! Worship 
is necessary to man and prayer is the soul of wor- 
ship. Too often we have like the Samaritan 
woman emphasized the place of worship. It is 
the spirit of worship that counts with God. Too 
often also we have like the disciples not known 
how to pray. The Church is obligated to teach 
us to pray and where to worship. This is the first 
stone in the spiritual edifice we call the Church. 
We need a revival of prayer and worship in our 
life. We can get it only through the Church. 

The Church in the next place is the disseminator 
of truth. Now the Church has been conscious of 
this prerogative through the centuries, but has not 
always been keen to discern the truth. Bigotry 
has often ruled in the hearts of priest and people 
alike, and dogma has often sat enthroned there 
unwilling to be tried by the faculties given us by 
the Creator as the guides of life. "The truth 
shall make you free," but the Church has forgot- 
ten this at times. When scientists discovered the 
world is round and revolves around the sun, the 
Church anathematized them. When the spirit of 
brotherhood and social solidarity possessed the 



THE FOUB-SQUABE PBINCIPLE 97 



hearts of many and compelled them to declare the 
individual gospel incomplete without its social 
complement, the Church in many quarters classed 
the prophets of the larger truth as heretics. 
When reverent scholars approached the question 
of the Bible's making and coming to us from the 
historical standpoint, they were styled skeptics. 
The religion of Jesus Christ has nothing to fear 
from scientist, prophet, historian, or scholar, or 
any other source. It is truth that is the life of the 
Church and truth will make the Church free. The 
triumphant Church will include all truth. 

The Church does not exist for itself. It should 
in the third place give, give liberally and gladly. 
" It is more blessed to give than to receive," said 
Jesus. His Church will demonstrate the truth- 
fulness, the blessedness, of that principle. A 
Church that does not give will die. God cannot 
prosper a Church that sponges on the community; 
He cannot do it and keep His word. The Church 
is not a sponge to absorb, but a standpipe to dis- 
tribute. It must give. 

And finally it will serve. "The son of Man 
came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." 
Let this be written over the entrance way to every 
temple of the Most High. Let it be practised, 
too. The Church as a servant must not hesitate to 
enter any open door, nor to force open a door that 
does not stand open. She will minister to all of 
life without apology. Wherever her sons and 



98 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



daughters go, she must go. Whatever they are 
interested in, she must be interested in, with that 
purifying, uplifting, sanctifying influence which is 
her constant and eternal prerogative. She will in 
the days ahead clear herself of the charge of 
vagrancy nor will she permit loafing on the part 
of her adherents. She and they alike will delight 
to serve the Kingdom of God. 

III. The Sunday School 
The Sunday school is the teaching enterprise of 
the Kingdom. As its first characteristic then it 
should keep this function prominent and founda- 
tional. The curriculum of instruction therefore 
is of primal importance. The building and equip- 
ment likewise call for earnest attention. But the 
corps of teachers is the issue of largest concern. 
Note that I said corps and not corpse. So many 
times the teaching force is a body of death to the 
Sunday school. This brings up the whole question 
of teacher training and of supervised teaching. 
The Sunday school is potentially an institution of 
marvellous power for imparting the precious prin- 
ciples of the Kingdom. Let us be alert to every 
promising method of transforming its potential 
into kinetic energy. 

Worship, too, should characterize the Sunday 
school that is on to its job. We have found wor- 
ship to be the foundation stone of the Church's 
spiritual edifice. Worship in the Sunday school 



THE FOUK-SQUAKE PEINCIPLE 99 



should prepare for the spacious spiritual sweep of 
the Church service. In order to do this it should 
be graded by departments. If a separate assembly 
room is impossible for each department, it is cer- 
tainly possible in some way to provide for the 
training in worship in at least two groups, con- 
sisting of the Beginners', Primary, and Junior 
grades in the one and with the remainder of the 
school in the other. The question of disorder in 
Sunday schools is very largely soluble by graded 
worship, providing an adequate and becoming 
means of expressing the heart's deeper longings to 
God. If we will but consider that a disorderly 
Sunday school is an immoral institution, we begin 
to sense the importance in the development of 
Christian character of providing for it adequate 
facilities for training in worship. 

In the third place the Sunday school should 
serve. A Sunday school that exists merely to keep 
itself alive is an incumbrance, and appeals to peo- 
ple to attend such a school, however frantic, will 
not, cannot permanently avail. From the Be- 
ginners' Department on into the Adult Depart- 
ment, training in service should be provided on an 
organized graded basis. A beginning can be 
made with the four special days now almost uni- 
versally obtaining — Thanksgiving, Christmas, 
Easter, and Children's Day. These days can be 
made occasions of service to the Kingdom through 
careful preparation and methods sanctioned by 



100 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



approved usage. But service is a constant need 
of the spiritual life, just as food, water, and air 
are of the physical life. So the program of social 
service should be extended to cover the entire 
year, expressing itself through ministry in the 
name of Christ to the local Church, the commu- 
nity, the larger work of the organized Kingdom, 
and animals. Babies and larger children, unfor- 
tunate families, the aged, the benevolent organiza- 
tions of the local Church and of the denomination, 
and animals are the most appropriate objects 
around which to weave an organized, graded pro- 
gram of social service. Unless the Sunday school 
teaches service and practises it, a self-complacent 
church will later prove inadequate to reach the 
world for Christ. 

And finally the Sunday school should lead to the 
salvation of the young life entrusted to it. If it 
fail here, woe is the Church, for eighty-five per 
cent, of our Church members come from the Sun- 
day school. Yet we now lose fifty per cent, of 
those who resort to it for its ministry. Our teach- 
ing, our worship, our service aims in Sunday 
school work have their proper fruiting in the win- 
ning of the young to Jesus Christ as their personal 
Saviour. We must not fail here. Let us on 
bended knee learn from Him the methods by 
which our hearts shall rejoice in victories for His 
name in the saved lives of the boys and girls whom 
we teach. 



THE FOUK-SQTJAKE PEINOIPLE 101 

IV. Christian Endeavour 
Some Christian leaders would merge Christian 
Endeavour with the Sunday school class. There is 
some duplication of work in theory at least now. 
Christian Endeavour, however, stands for some 
things which are not undertaken by the Sunday 
school. Coordination of the activities wherein 
common ground is occupied will relieve all duplica- 
tion, if combination is not attempted as advocated 
by some. It is the duty of Christian statesmanship 
to work this problem out. 

In the first place Christian Endeavour is the 
training school of the Church. It is the labora-* 
tory wherein Christian principles are experb 
mentally to be tested out and the impetus given for 
larger things in the days ahead. Christian En- 
deavour recognizes that a time comes when train- 
ing should cease. For those who have reached that 
stage it provides honourary or Alumni member- 
ship, but discontinues active membership. Some 
friends of the Sunday school have been bold enough 
to say that it too needs a definite curriculum, with 
graduate courses provided, and when these have 
been completed, the pupil should sustain an hon- 
ourary or Alumni relationship to the school. 
There is much to be said for this. Certainly 
Christian Endeavour is wise in terminating the 
period of apprenticeship and in insisting that those 
who have been trained should take up the journey- 
man's obligations in the Kingdom's service. 



102 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



Christian Endeavour, too, deserves our most 
ardent approval in that it stands preeminently for 
loyalty to Jesus Christ and outspoken allegiance to 
Him. It is good in the presence of our peers to 
witness for Christ. Many a wavering faith has 
been greatly steadied by testifying in the Christian 
Endeavour prayer-meeting for Jesus. Such tes- 
timony is doubly worth while since it comes not 
from a question proposed by the teacher as in the 
Sunday school class, but from an inescapable im- 
pression within. In Revelation we read that 
Satan was cast out of Heaven by " the blood of 
the Lamb and the word of their testimony." How 
important then that young life should have oppor- 
tunity freely to testify for Him ! 

Christian Endeavour, too, is loyal to the Church 
and its enterprises. The observant pastor of a 
worthy Christian Endeavour Society knows where 
he may always go for willing service, gladly ren- 
dered, whenever occasion arises. And the wise 
pastor always sees to it that such occasions con- 
stantly arise. Sometimes organized classes have 
become self-conscious and proceeded along paths 
of their own choosing, without reference to the 
Sunday school as such or to the Church. Coop- 
eration, loyal support, willing service — such is the 
spirit of Christian Endeavour. Such is certainly 
its aim. Its committee work should be coordi- 
nated with the social service program of the Sun- 
day school. 



THE FOUK-SQUAKE PEINCIPLE 103 

And finally Christian Endeavour stands un- 
equivocally for fellowship with all God's people. 
What a crowning characteristic this! In Febru- 
ary, 1881, denominational aloofness, not to say 
sectarian selfishness, was the outstanding charac- 
teristic of organized Christianity in America. Be- 
hold, what changes the intervening years have 
wrought! Why? Because in those separatist 
days God sent Rev. Francis E. Clark to say to the 
oncoming generation of young people He wished 
His people to fellowship one with another. And 
now the Federal Council of Churches has come, 
and now conventions are held every year and 
many times during a year in America and through- 
out the world to discuss the meaning for us of 
Christ's prayer for the oneness of His followers. 
Thank God for the broad Christian fellowship of 
Christian Endeavour ! Thank God for Francis E. 
Clark! This far-seeing prophet by his leavening 
movement has shown us the way of " denomina- 
tional disarmament." Who follows in his train? 

V. The Great Commission 
The Great Commission is the magna charta of 
world redemption, yet its first implication is per- 
sonal. Before I can enter upon the crusade to 
which it challenges me I must first of all be a dis- 
ciple. I myself must be saved before I can be- 
come interested in the salvation of others. First 
and foremost then the Great Commission is a chal- 



104 THE CHUBCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



lenge to the individual to become what he is duty 
bound thereafter to undertake to get others to be- 
come. 

But he dare not stop with his own salvation. 
Religion is more than a personal matter. I mean, 
of course, the Christian religion. It is only a par- 
tial truth to say that Jesus came to save me. He 
came to save me, as we have already said, that I 
might witness for Him and so, under His blessing, 
be the means of salvation to some one else. Sal- 
vation that ends in me is selfish, and there can be 
no selfishness in Christian redemption. If I am 
not vitally concerned for my brothers to know the 
joy that is mine because of my salvation, I may 
rest assured that sooner or later I shall become 
cold and lose my salvation. There is no salvation 
for self alone. What could be more dissatisfying 
than for a single soul to be saved ! Brotherhood 
is the pregnant word of the Christian faith and 
social solidarity based on that faith, the Christian 
goal for the human family. 

The Great Commission, too, has implications 
for the social order, for the organized life of man. 
Have we not learned that it is insufficient to make 
Christians out of the individuals constituting so- 
ciety, while the institutions that minister to their 
life are untouched by the spirit of Christian truth? 
Suppose the governments of the world had been 
Christianized, could there have been a world war? 
Was it not a right thing to pass the prohibition 



THE FOUK-SQUAEE PBINCIPLE 105 



act ? Do we not need a censorship for motion pic- 
tures and other forms of amusement? Is there 
any institution or organization for which our 
Christian Great Commission does not have a vital, 
throbbing message ? How about the press ? How 
about industry in all its forms? How about 
higher education and also the public schools? 
These and others touch our lives constantly. Can 
our lives function to their full capacity until these 
institutions have been brought under the vital 
sway of the Christian religion? We have been 
rescuing the perishing and binding up the wounds 
of the robbed and throwing life-lines to the ship- 
wrecked. Well and good. Let's continue to do 
these things. But let us go further and find why 
there are perishing ones to rescue, why robbers 
wound our brothers and theirs, why ships are 
wrecked on the moral ocean of life. Having 
found out the " why," let us apply the balm of 
healing to the sore spot or the surgeon's knife, as 
the diagnosis may require. Let us make the social 
order safe for the Christian. And let us not stop 
till all those whose business we ban have too been 
won to our Christ. They are our brothers, too, 
and for them Jesus died. The salvation of the 
Great Commission is personal, social, and societal. 
We must never forget this. 

But now we come to a peculiarly tender thought. 
" Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to 
the whole creation," says our Great Commission 



106 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



in the original language of the New Testament. 
"To the Whole Creation, 3 ' let us gild it in mem- 
ory's innermost recess of the heart. And what 
does it imply? Nay rather, what does it require? 
It both implies and requires that if a man is a 
Christian, not only his family and friends and the 
brethren in non-Christian lands, but also his horse 
and his dog and his cat shall know it. Even the 
wild creatures of the field and the forest will know 
it. What a precious thought ! God too cares for 
the sparrows. The Great Commission makes us 
like Him also in that respect. 

VI. Education 
When education is mentioned, immediately the 
mind and its development appear in the fore- 
ground of consciousness. And this is right. 
Education is mental development. But what is 
mental development? Is the mind a vessel to be 
stored with useful and valuable information? Is 
it a muscle to be strengthened by certain, as it 
were, calisthenical or gymnastic movements? Is 
it a photographic plate, giving back what it re- 
ceives? Or is it the instrument of a presiding 
genius, capable under the direction of that genius 
of creative acts? The answer to these questions 
will determine the method of education, but would 
not alter the fundamental conception that it is 
mental development. A trip to one of the great 
libraries of the world will convince even the super- 



THE FOTJK-SQUAKE PEINCIPLE 107 



ficial observer that man has endeavoured to pro- 
vide ample means of developing the mind, and the 
end is not yet, for more books are being printed 
this year than ever before. The same superficial 
observer, by a cursory glance at the leaders of men 
in all generations, will readily conclude that edu- 
cation has contributed tremendously to the 
achievements of the race. Certainly education 
must guarantee mental development. 

Contemporary with the thought of mental de- 
velopment through education was the complemen- 
tary thought of spiritual ministry. Indeed, it may 
with reasonable assurance be claimed that religious 
culture, rather than mental development, was the 
primary motive in education. In the early days 
religion was the chief concern of man, and not an 
incident of an otherwise busy career. The first 
educated men were the priests and ministers of 
religion, and for their equipment the first colleges 
and universities were founded. In the educational 
development of our own country this fact admits 
no gainsaying. There would to-day be no univer- 
sal education for the masses nor higher education 
for the leaders of our nation, had not the Church 
in America pioneered in education. But religion 
belongs in education not simply by right of pri- 
ority of occupation. It belongs there by inherent 
right and necessity. Education without religion 
is a curse to a free people. Education without 
Christian character produces Kaiser Wilhelms on 



108 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



thrones, skeptics in professors' chairs, enemies of 
humanity in private life, and world wars in inter- 
national relations. The educational system that 
leaves religion out is poison gas and no mask can 
be invented to withstand its insidious destruction. 
Education and religion, God has fitly joined them 
together, and what He hath united let no man or 
set of men essay to put asunder. The American 
people should give their best statesmanship to the 
implication of this truth for our public schools and 
institutions of higher learning under public con- 
trol. 

Education, too, has a ministry to the bodies of 
men. This is comparatively a new thought in 
educational practice. We have known all along 
that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, but 
we thought if we kept it clean we had met all obli- 
gation to the spirit dwelling within it. Never did 
it occur to our forefathers that the educational 
system owes it to the physical man to render his 
body not only clean, but also strong and vigorous 
and robust with health. So now the public school 
gives earnest heed to play and recreation and no 
college is complete without its gymnasium and its 
athletic grounds. Play and recreation make our 
bodies strong and vigorous and healthful, and so 
these instrumentalities deserve full recognition in 
the program of real education. 

But education needs one more ingredient to ren- 
der it four-square, and that is a social conscience. 



THE FOUE-SQTJAKE PKINCIPLE 109 



Strange as it may seem, great intellect, unquestion- 
able integrity of character, strong physique do not 
necessarily motivate a man to serve his brother- 
men. They may by the superiority they inevi- 
tably confer suggest to him the exploitation of his 
brothers. The strong, the strong in mind, spirit, 
and body, must be shot through with the spirit of 
altruism toward their fellows. Whether we will 
it or not, we are brothers to all men. And whether 
we will it or not, what happens to our brothers 
happens eventually to us. The submerged tenth, 
if left to themselves, will submerge the other nine- 
tenths. The highly favoured, if they undertake to 
lavish their talents upon themselves in self -gratifi- 
cation, will fall under the unsparing hand of dis- 
ease and moral degradation. I do not like to 
think of the curse we will bring upon our unhal- 
lowed heads by selfish appropriation of talent, 
which is certainly in God's thought a social asset 
and the common possession of all men. I delight 
to think on the benefit the life of unselfish service 
brings to the one who lives such a life and to those 
whom it benignly touches. Of this I am abso- 
lutely sure — the education that fails to equip with 
the social conscience is woefully inadequate in 
these days of world brotherhood and racial soli- 
darity. 



VII. The Minister 
The minister is the most many-sided man of 



110 THE CHUBCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



genius civilization has produced. I mean, of 
course, the minister as those on the outside con- 
ceive his duties. He is supposed to be capable of 
expert advice in every business or profession and 
to be possessed of a spirit that equals any circum- 
stance. As a financier he is expected to dress 
himself and family equal to the best and thor- 
oughly educate his children, paying his bills 
promptly, on a salary paid in spasms and not equal 
to the wage of the day labourer. The marvel is 
that he does it. But whatever else he may be or is 
expected to be, the minister must be a preacher of 
the Word. No social grace, no charm of person- 
ality, no wisdom of worldly lore, no skill in 
finances can compensate for this fundamental con- 
ception of the ministerial fitness of things. And 
wherever a minister appears with a vital message, 
the whole world will tread the path to his doorway. 
Men's hearts hunger for spiritual nurture and the 
minister is the representative of God to break to 
them the bread of life. The foolishness of preach- 
ing is yet and likely to continue to be the way of 
salvation to the lost. It is certainly the strength 
of life to the saved. 

Next to preaching and in many senses a part of 
that service is the minister's function of reconcil- 
ing. The spoken message of the prophet of God 
should have as its ultimate aspiration reconciling 
man to God and man to man. Harmony, frater- 
nity, fellowship, brotherly love — such are the bed- 



THE FOUE-SQUAEE PKINCIPLE 111 



rocks of Christian character. In generating, in- 
stilling, cultivating these soul qualities of the first 
magnitude the minister is rendering an inestimable 
service. These qualities will solve the complex, 
competitive, conflicting issues of our life, and 
these qualities only. To recur to the industrial 
problem, it can never be solved by organized la- 
bour demanding its rights, while organized capital 
opposes. Only the fellowship and love of the 
Master regnant in the hearts of men and in the 
organizations which express their ideals can bring 
us industrial peace. How important is the min- 
ister as a reconciler ! 

And then he is a comforter. Misfortune, dis- 
appointment, failure, sickness, disease, death, sin 
in single column or in battalions attack us all. 
How sweet and gracious in such an hour to have 
the representative of the Kingdom come to us with 
the balm of Gilead and the oil of consolation ! But 
he is equally a comfort in the hour of mirth and 
jollity. What more comforting and uplifting than 
for the minister of the young to attend their ath- 
letic sports or other social festal events! I have 
seen a great preacher and dearly beloved lose him- 
self in the enthusiasm of a basket-ball game. And 
then I have seen that same preacher hold his con- 
gregation the next day with rapt attention. In 
joy and in sorrow, the minister is privileged to be 
the supreme personage, even as Jesus was at the 
wedding feast and at Lazarus' tomb. 



112 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 

Finally the four-square minister is a trainer. 
This characteristic of his calling requires utmost 
patience and rarest tact. He will find many times 
he can do the thing that must be done much easier 
himself than train some one else to do it. He 
must not yield to temptation here. The line of 
least resistance is oftentimes the pathway of de- 
feat. It were better to get ten men to work for 
the Kingdom than to do the work of ten men. 
The minister must train his people to pray, to 
teach, to finance the Church, to be liberal in sup- 
porting all the enterprises of the Kingdom, to 
carry on the worship and other activities of the 
Church in his absence and even at times when he 
is present. This brings up the question of lay- 
preaching. Lay-preaching contains wonderful 
possibilities for the Kingdom. It is Scriptural, it is 
effective, judged by experience, it benefits the lay- 
man and the people alike, and it greatly strength- 
ens the minister's own messages. I hope to see a 
revival of lay-preaching in our pulpits, for that 
will mean a revival of religion, which we most as- 
suredly need. This revival will come when our 
ministers want it. 

VIII. The Layman 
Marvel not that I put first among the four- 
square characteristics of the ideal layman the cul- 
tivation of the prayer life. No Christian can have 
power without prayer. It is the dynamo of spir- 



THE FOUK-SQTJAKE PBINCIPLE 113 



itual energy. To neglect it is to stop the machin- 
ery of the Kingdom in the development of one's 
own character and render one useless in the work 
of the Church. What a hopeful sign of the times 
it is, therefore, for forty-one distinguished laymen 
from twenty states and representing nearly all the 
denominations of prominence to issue a summons 
to prayer, and to have them give as the reason, 
" Our world will never get right with itself until it 
gets right with God. Only spiritual remedies can 
cure the present ills of mankind. Therefore, we 
call upon all who believe that the Living God hears 
and answers prayer, to offer daily petitions in be- 
half of our troubled world." The layman needs 
worship in his home and in all his experience of 
life to have with him the spirit of prayer. The 
layman who prays will be ready to do the duties of 
a Christian. The layman who neglects to pray 
will grow cold and indifferent. Eventually he 
will lose his salvation. 

The praying layman will attend his church, reg- 
ularly, conscientiously, naturally. There will be 
no need of " Go-to-church" Sundays for him. He 
will be there. Members of churches who do not 
attend are advertising the poverty of their spir- 
itual experience. Church attendance is in most 
cases a sure index of spiritual temperature. What 
would you think of a man who owned part of a 
business and did not look after it? What must 
we think of the layman who is partner with God 



114 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



in the Church of which he is a member, and who 
remains habitually away from his place of busi- 
ness ? Our churches are not crowded because our 
spiritual vitality is so low. The only way to fill 
our churches is to fill the laymen with zeal for the 
Kingdom. 

The four-square layman will give liberally to 
the Church and Kingdom. It will not be neces- 
sary to give oyster suppers or to have rummage 
sales or entertainments or lectures to fool out of 
his pocketbook the money needful for the support 
of the Master's cause. His pocketbook, too, will 
have religion. He will know how to pay as well 
as how to pray for the Kingdom's coming, and he 
will be able gladly to do both because he has al- 
ready given himself to the Lord. He will be a 
tither as the minimum expression of his obligation 
to the Kingdom. But he will give offerings over 
and above the tithe, as the Lord has prospered 
him. System and not spasm, privilege and not 
emotional appeal, will be the essence of his giving- 
creed. The ultimate motive, however, will be, in 
some small measure, to express through his gifts 
his appreciation of Jesus' sacrifice for him. 

Finally he will work at his job. He will not be 
like a certain rich Christian whose son being asked 
what his father's business was, replied: "He pro- 
fesses to be a Christian, but he does not work 
much at his job." Rather will he be like that cele- 
brated cobbler who replied to a similar question, 



THE FOTJB-SQTJABE PBDTCIPLE 115 



"My business is serving the Lord, but I cobble 
shoes to pay expenses." When a man takes a 
stock in a material business, he immediately wants 
something to do to promote the business. The 
ideal layman feels a like sentiment with reference 
to the church of which he is a member. He 
should do anything he is asked to do, rather, he 
should honestly try. He will either find a work 
suited to his talent or create one. And he will not 
forget that not the Church alone, but the com- 
munity and the nation and the world and all men 
have claims upon him as a Christian, which claims 
he will be glad to respond to whole-heartedly and 
with modest self-effacement. Like his Master, he 
will find his chiefest satisfaction of life in the 
service he can render to brothermen in that Mas- 
ter's name and spirit. 



VII 



THE KINGDOM 

I. What It Is 

IT is not popular these days to talk about kings. 
They have wrought much mischief lately and 
men are in no mood to tolerate, much less to 
venerate them. Yet never before did men urge 
with all their zeal measures pregnant with hope 
for the establishment of Christ's Kingdom. Mani- 
festly words may carry within them contradictory 
connotations. 

What is the Kingdom of God? In the prayer 
our Master taught us to pray, we read "Thy King- 
dom come: Thy will be done," to which is added 
the very significant qualifying phrase, " on earth 
as in Heaven." It appears that the Kingdom of 
God is a condition of life wherein the will of God 
is done. But what is the will of God ? Jesus re-, 
vealed it in His life and set it forth in His teach- 
ings. He fairly exhausted the glowing imagery 
of that highly imaginative Eastern life in His de- 
sire to reveal to us what it is like. " The King- 
dom of God is like " is a favourite theme of His, 
and what wealth of inspiration is provided for us 
in the parables depicting it ! It is like a grain of 

116 



THE KINGDOM 



117 



mustard seed, like yeast, like a coin, like a net cast 
into the sea, like a sower, like a pearl of great 
price, like, like, like, on through the entrancing 
labyrinth of their parabolic beauty. 

And yet men are not able to-day to define the 
Kingdom of God. It means one thing to you and 
another to me and a third to our neighbour. So 
we revert to our starting point — it is that condi- 
tion of life wherein the will of God is done, and 
each individual member of the Kingdom is to de- 
cide for himself what that will is. No man, no set 
of men, no priest, potentate, or power has any 
right to say to even the humblest citizen of God's 
Kingdom what the will of God is. And that is 
why men who understand it love the Kingdom. 
In it, all are kings, and so it is a democracy, in 
which God is eternal Ruler by the universal suf- 
frage of all His children, their vote having been 
freely and willingly cast in their choice of Him as 
Sovereign of their hearts. 

And so we begin to understand what Jesus 
meant when He said, " The Kingdom of God is 
within you." To the individual Christian this 
mystical relation between God and himself is a 
precious possession. In the consciousness of it, 
he is emboldened to undertake programs of Chris- 
tian service where otherwise he would withdraw 
in dismay. His witness within tells him that one 
with God is a majority, and so spurred on by this 
confidence the impossible is wrought through him 



118 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



as the wholly inadequate human agency. What 
dignity, too, as well as strength this mystic in- 
dwelling of the Kingdom imputes to the individual 
Christian! God has honoured my poor estate by 
dwelling within me. Surely I must keep my house 
clean, sanitary, garnished in appreciation of such 
signal honour so undeservedly conferred on me! 
Let every Christian become deeply conscious that 
in him dwells this Kingdom of God and a new day 
will dawn upon the earth ! 

The earth is to become permeated with the 
Kingdom of God. That is the second teaching 
with reference to the Kingdom. When? When 
the social order is Christianized. How is this to 
be brought about? Will it have happened when 
all men everywhere are Christians? Yes, but a 
Christianized social order, a society impregnated 
with the Kingdom of God, will have tremendous 
influence in bringing all men into the Kingdom. 
The Kingdom in individual hearts will, under 
proper leadership, increasingly penetrate and 
transform the social order, which in turn will react 
to bring the Kingdom into other hearts, and so 
mutually the Kingdom in its dual manifestations 
of a spirit within and a force without will grow 
till it fills the earth as the waters cover the seas. 

It does not necessarily follow that a group of 
devout Christians will guarantee a Christian social 
order. Such an order must be consciously sought 
for. Christian institutions do not " just happen." 



THE KINGDOM 



119 



Somebody under the impulsion of the Kingdom 
within must travail for their birth and constantly 
be their guardian, nor on the other hand must we 
make the fatal blunder that our sole business is to 
make individuals Christians and leave the social 
order to itself. Experience, sad and bitter, has 
taught us the futility of that method. The King- 
dom is more than a rescue agency ; it is a prophy- 
lactic power too. Let us strive for both at once — 
endeavour to lead the individual to Christ and 
likewise to make the atmosphere of his new-found 
life so wholesome that his Christian development 
will be aided at every turn, and never kept by viti- 
ating influences from functioning normally. So 
shall the Kingdom array itself for the grand con- 
summation, its union with Christ in the New 
Jerusalem. 

This third aspect of the Kingdom is the raison 
d'etre of the other two. The Kingdom within me 
and the- Kingdom objectified in the Christianized 
social order look for their perfection to the mar- 
riage of the Lamb with His Church, the vision of 
which realization has entranced each hopeful spirit 
of every generation. How satisfying it will be to 
have part in that state of bliss, the joys and satis- 
factions of which we have no way of anticipating! 
This we know, and it is enough, in that Kingdom 
realized and perfected " we shall be like Him ; for 
we shall see Him as He is." No ampler joy than 
this could the trusting heart of the devout Chris- 



120 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



tian who has had part in the other two manifesta- 
tions of the Kingdom desire. 

II. Progress of the Kingdom 
5fhe Kingdom of God, according to Jesus in a 
certain parable, is like a grain of mustard seed, 
small and insignificant to begin with, but destined 
to be the largest of plants when matured. Prog- 
ress thus becomes the pregnant thought for the 
Kingdom. Growth has certainly characterized it 
in every generation of the Church. Forward is 
the only becoming direction in which the Chris- 
tian may look. The Garden of Eden is behind us, 
and we shall never return to it again, but the New 
Jerusalem is before, and toward it like valiant cru- 
saders for the King we must reverently march. 

I am glad Jesus made ample provision for the 
growth of His Kingdom, both in concept and in 
inclusiveness. There is no such thing as fettering 
the spirit of man in view of the amplitude of the 
Kingdom whose Founder said " greater works 
than these shall ye do." While He was on earth 
He healed by His magic touch a few hundred at 
most, but in His name to-day hospitals restore to 
health and strength millions each year, yet there is 
no mention of this method of doing good in any of 
His teachings. He loved little children and blessed 
them, but think of the central place childhood now 
occupies in the mind and thought of the world and 
of the orphanages provided for the homeless ones, 



THE KINGDOM 



121 



all due to our enlarging conception of His teach- 
ing and of its inclusiveness, though He nowhere 
says a word about child psychology or orphanages. 
In His name we have abolished slavery, though He 
did not specifically authorize its abolition and even 
accepted the institution as a part of the social or- 
ganization of a time not ready to shed it. In His 
name we have abolished the rum traffic, and put 
the social glass with all other beverage use of alco- 
holic liquors under the ban, while He calmly at- 
tended a wedding feast where wine was served, 
even providing by miraculous power additional 
wine when their supply had given out. In His 
name womanhood has been steadily emerging into 
full equality of rights, though He never enjoined 
us by special command to make men and women 
equal. It is the leaven of His teachings that has 
wrought these mighty works, a leaven capable 
rightly of a wider conceptual understanding and 
of a broader inclusiveness. And the end is not 
yet. 

Nay verily, the end is far from yet. We have 
made great strides in the ways of the Kingdom 
since Jesus ascended. We have, however, only 
hinted at a few of the potential giant achievements 
of that mustard seed which has but sprouted even 
in our day. When its leaves shall have put out 
and its branches shall have developed into the tree 
of its destiny, " the greater works "of our accom- 
plishment so far will fade into insignificance in 



122 THE OHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



comparison with the mighty works that will in 
that glad day crown man's upward climb toward 
righteousness and toward God. In that day de- 
mocracy will be real, real and actual, and not a 
theoretical organization of the State. It will have 
permeated every industry, every institution minis- 
tering to life, and every heart. In that day the 
brotherhood of man will be realized in the con- 
scious fellowship of life, when no man will say, 
" Lo, here is mine," but all men will rejoice in each 
other's good. Then will the Bridegroom return 
adorned for His Bride, then will that glorious con- 
summation have occurred for which the ages have 
wrought and for which the noblest and best have 
ever laboured and suffered and died, even the 
dawn of that new time in which Jesus shall reign 
and His holy angels with Him, in the city of our 
God, the New Jerusalem. In that day the great 
commission shall have borne its perfect fruit, for 
in that blissful time every knee shall bow and 
every tongue confess the Christ as the Saviour of 
men and of the race. 

But how shall this glorious day come ? As prog- 
ress has ever come, through the Church, imperfect 
as it is, constantly leading its forces into higher 
places of achievement and light, slowly but surely 
with each succeeding age the better understanding 
and interpreting to them the Master's will and 
message and program for the world, pointing them 
ever to Him as their ineffable example and praying 



THE KINGDOM 



123 



lor them the leadership and inspiration of the 
Spirit, without which all their efforts, however 
well-intentioned, must essentially prove abortive. 
Admitting no discouragement, absolutely assured 
of ultimate victory, we " press forward toward the 
mark for the prize of the high calling of God in 
Christ Jesus," and in an age we devoutly pray not 
far distant we shall see the reward of our vital 
faith in the fruition of that Kingdom, whose 
watchword is progress and whose beckoning chal- 
lenge to us has been our inspiration and hope. 
" Thy Kingdom come ; Thy will be done." " Even 
so, come, Lord Jesus." 

III. Recruits for the Kingdom 
With thirty thousand pastorless churches in our 
country, with one Mission Board having plans that 
would readily require all the volunteers for for- 
eign service of all the colleges and seminaries, 
with a steady decrease in the number of candidates 
for the ministry in all the churches, with a pro- 
nounced growth in the avenues of all-time Chris- 
tian service in the Kingdom's work, a crisis has 
arisen the like of which has never before con- 
fronted the followers of Christ. I am no pessi- 
mist, but neither am I that type of optimist that 
calls his hopes his facts. What can we do about 
it? 

What every great business is now doing in order 
to perpetuate itself and strengthen its personnel — 



124 THE CHTJBCH IN THE PBESENT CBISIS 



search for promising young people and lay before 
them the claims of the Church on their lives. 
Never a week passes but that I receive some piece 
of propagandic literature for our college library 
or to be posted in some conspicuous place, calling 
the attention of the students to the fine opportuni- 
ties in this or that line of business. The great 
corporations, like the Steel Industry, the Packing 
Industry, the National City Bank, and others, send 
their personnel men to college campuses to look 
the more promising men over with view personally 
to enlisting them for their respective businesses. 

Now some people object to this procedure with 
reference to Christian service. They quote " Woe 
is me, if I preach not the gospel," forgetting that 
this is the utterance of a man long in the ministry 
of the Church. They say God will call those He 
wants. The same philosophy would lead us to 
abandon all evangelistic efforts and all personal 
work. This philosophy, too, would make preach- 
ing a means only of building up the saved. It 
would be the business of God to call men into the 
Church. Now the paradox is that this latter posi- 
tion is the only true one. You and I cannot call 
a brother into the Kingdom. God does that just 
as He calls one man to preach and another to 
practise medicine. The trouble comes in our dif- 
ferentiating where there is no difference. God 
calls through men most of the time. Occasionally 
in Scripture we find where God directly calls a 



THE KINGDOM 



125 



man to His service. But God is not limited to 
that method and most often some Paul becomes 
the father to a son Timothy in the gospel ministry. 
If we have the obligation to win our brothers to 
Christ in the premises, we have the same obliga- 
tion to win those same brothers to Christian 
service as a life-work. The only reason why one 
minister will have thirty or forty Timothies in the 
ministry as the crown of his pastoral labours and 
another minister none at all, is that the one worked 
definitely for them and the other did not, and the 
same is true of Christian homes and of Christian 
laymen as well. Not that God cannot do it with- 
out us, but that He does not. We must roll away 
the stone. We must bring the water and fill the 
jars. We must go wash in the pool of Siloam. 
What a privilege it is thus to be co-workers with 
God in recruiting the labourers for His cause! 

But definitely and specifically how? 

Our pulpits must magnify the claims of the 
Kingdom as heroic opportunity for life-invest- 
ment. There is the ministry at home and abroad ; 
there is the new field of religious education open 
to laymen and laywomen and with marvellous 
promise for the Kingdom's growth; there is the 
work of Christian education in the schools, 
colleges, universities, and seminaries of the 
Church; there is the work of publishing, editing, 
and authorship; there is the work of nursing — 
surely these and the multiplying other avenues of 



126 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



life-service, properly presented, will make their 
appeal to young people. A chance reference in a 
sermon will not do. It will require many dis- 
courses, preferably gathered into a program of a 
month or more yearly, and leading to definite 
appeals for immediate decisions as the culminating 
aim. 

But the pulpit will need help. It cannot do the 
work alone. The various organizations of the 
Church and particularly the Sunday school, the 
Christian Endeavour Society or other young 
people's society, and the missionary societies 
should be brought to function in this direction. 
They will have to be led to see first their obligation 
and then instructed in method, but these are not 
insurmountable obstacles. A thing that ought to 
be done, can be done, and this thing has been done 
already in many instances. 

Even this is not enough. Reference has already 
been made to our colleges as proper recruiting 
grounds. Most Church Colleges now have a 
week of prayer and also a special life-work cam- 
paign of from three or four days to a week each 
year, looking to this very thing. The sad part of 
it is that most young people have decided 
what they will do about giving their lives to 
Christian service before they come to college. 
The college atmosphere can steady them in their 
determination and occasionally can win one for 
the ministry, or for some other field of Christian 



THE KINGDOM 



127 



service. It has an opportunity and it should 
respond to the same with resolution of purpose 
and steadiness, of aim, but its field is limited and 
circumscribed by influences at work in the pre- 
college life of its students. 

This brings us in the last analysis to two other 
modes — to personal effort on the part of laymen 
and laywomen with the young men and women of 
their communities and to our Christian homes. If 
we have the conviction that our neighbour's son or 
daughter would effectively serve the Kingdom by 
all-time Christian service, it is our duty to say so, 
not to some one else, but to the young man or 
woman in person. It will require courage to do 
this, but God has through that conviction called us 
to serve Him in that way, just as no doubt He will 
call the young friend we interview to serve Him 
with all his or her life. " Where He leads me, 
I will follow." 

But our real source of Kingdom-recruiting is 
after all our Christian homes. Parents can have 
more influence over their children than any one 
else. If they constantly hold up the work of the 
Kingdom as offering the finest opportunity to 
serve altruistically, if they pray in the family wor- 
ship for some member of the household to give his 
or her life to this sort of service, if they in private 
lay this on the heart and conscience of each soul 
God has committed to their care, the Kingdom will 
have recruits. I fear most homes prefer that their 



128 THE OHUECH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



children should find an easy place in life and a 
comfortable competency rather than enter the 
work of the Church with its anxieties and small 
remuneration. We need to consider earnestly the 
purpose of our life here and then urge our very 
bone and flesh, the loved ones of our homes, to 
make the choice for their life work best promising 
the achievement of that purpose. 

Finally, and that is already presupposed and al- 
ways fundamental in any Kingdom enterprise, we 
must pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth 
labourers into the harvest. Only, remember that 
prayer is but the beginning of our responsibility. 
We must after prayer go out into the byways and 
the hedges and urge them to become harvesters 
for Him. 

The Master's " Go ye " applied to all the com- 
pany of His followers. The early Christians ac- 
cepted the commission as applying personally, and 
in consequence the faith spread like a mighty con- 
flagration. Every member was a firebrand of its 
proclamation. Winning others to Christ was seri- 
ous business then and not a matter to be attended 
to by proxy through a priest or professional evan- 
gelist. 

Perhaps it was necessary to professionalize the 
Church's ministry to the life of men. Every re- 
ligion yet has had to have its priesthood, its spe- 
cialized religionists, in order to perpetuate and 
make its force effective. We must be bold to say, 



THE KINGDOM 



129 



however, that the Bible does not recognize that 
fundamental distinction which has played so im- 
portant a part in ecclesiastical history — I mean the 
distinction between laymen and ministers. It is 
the teaching both of the Old Testament and of the 
New Testament that all God's children are kings 
and priests unto Him. Among the Jews the tribe 
of Levi was chosen to serve the interests of re-, 
ligion for the whole people. Any other tribe 
could have served just as well, though this was the 
tribe of Moses and Aaron. Even the appointment 
of this tribe to this professional service did not de- 
prive any Hebrew of his priestly relation to God. 
The Jews to this day refuse to recognize the order 
of the laity. 

The history of the Christian priesthood in the 
technical and professional sense would take us too 
far afield for our purpose. Suffice it to say that 
step by step it can be traced from the days of the 
primitive and joyous brotherhood of the early 
Church, wherein there was no such thing as minis- 
try and laity as we use those words, up to the time 
when two distinct orders were recognized in the 
Church. It was a bad day for the Church when 
this happened, and we are far from recovering 
from its consequences. We need to get back to 
the Scripture in this matter and to recognize that 
all Christians are priests and that the minister is a 
specialized priest of the Church. We need further 
to understand that this in no way alters the priest- 



130 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



hood relation of any soul to God and that it cer- 
tainly does not abrogate the " go ye " of the great 
commission as applying to each and every one. 

I know a layman who had carried the abroga- 
tion view to the extreme. His pastor called on 
him to pray. He replied, " Pray yourself ; that's 
what we hire you for." There are thousands of 
laymen who act by this frank man's philosophy, 
though they would not be so outspoken in their 
refusal. They do not personally feel any respon- 
sibility for the winning of others to the Christian 
life. They believe in the Church, support their 
pastor, are generous to all the enterprises, and re- 
joice when new members are added to the roll. 
But as for feeling it their duty to win others to 
Christ by personal effort — well, that is none of 
their business. 

Oh ! for a return of the spirit that animated the 
laymen of the infant Church! They not only felt 
responsibility for leading their brothermen into 
the joy of their new-found experience, but they es- 
teemed it their chief business. In every era of 
Christian history which has been characterized by 
a marked spirit of evangelism, the simple laymen 
of the Church have initiated and led. The crying 
need of our time is a sense of personal responsi- 
bility on the part of every professed follower of 
Christ for the winning of others to Him. 

How shall we get this realization across? We 
must hear it from our pulpits. We must search 



THE KINGDOM 



131 



the Scriptures and Church history for the facts. 
We must gather our laymen and laywomen to- 
gether into little groups and lay this solemn and 
holy obligation so heavily on their hearts that they 
will be ready to try. And we must pray our Fa- 
ther to endue them with wisdom and power as 
they go. Laymen now are willing to give money 
for the work of the Kingdom. Never in all his- 
tory were such stupendous gifts chronicled for the 
gospel's spread as in our day. This is good, but 
not good enough. The Kingdom will never come 
till laymen give themselves in personal service for 
the winning of their brothers to Christ. 

Personal work — what a power it is and what a 
dual benediction! The most effective method of 
approach to a man's soul is through personal 
work. When you look a brotherman in the eye 
and talk with him about the eternal issues of his 
soul, he will be impressed and in most cases won to 
Christ. The plan works, just as it did in Jesus' 
own day, when Andrew brought Peter and Philip, 
Nathaniel to Him. Hand-picked fruit is best, too. 
Many a time a decision is reached under the high 
emotional appeal of the evangelist that lacks fer- 
vent conviction. But the man who calmly accepts 
Christ under the Spirit-led guidance of a personal 
worker is more likely to know what he has done. 

But I am thinking also of the joy of it, the dual 
satisfaction to the souls involved. The hunger 
for personal work becomes a passion as it is in- 



132 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



dulged. No other Christian experience can equal 
it in spiritual exhilaration, not even one's own con- 
version, for in this work two souls are involved 
and a twofold joy ensues. To have your brother- 
man place his hand in yours and say, " I am a 
saved man. You have helped me see the light " — 
that is joy, unspeakable joy. Christ wills that 
every humblest follower of Him shall know that 
most blessed experience. The consummation of 
His Kingdom is postponed till all who name His 
name have actually known that experience in their 
lives. 

IV. The Individual Christian's Obligation 
The individual Christian must face his obliga- 
tion to the Kingdom. He should honestly ask 
himself this question, What shall I do with my 
life? This is no simple question. The invest- 
ment of life is the paramount issue from the per- 
sonal standpoint and one of great intricacy from 
the standpoint of the callings that clamour for the 
individual. 

Let us look at the facts. Holmes W. Merton, 
in his book " How to Choose the Right Vocation " 
(Funk and Wagnalls Co., New York City), dis- 
cusses 1,406 vocations made up of 362 professions 
based on the arts and sciences; 344 commercial 
callings, and 700 trades and skilled vocations. 
Fourteen hundred and six opportunities and but 
one choice ! Well may the young life hesitate be- 



THE KINGDOM 



133 



fore such bewilderment. Well may those who 
have gone before and settled this issue properly 
(judged by the results that have been achieved in 
their life-work) tender to the young their experi- 
ence and assistance in such a situation. 

I do not mean that we should undertake to force 
the youth into a life-work according to our desire, 
but that we owe it to youth to help by every legiti- 
mate means in arriving at the proper decision. 
This applies to every vocation, no matter how 
humble, no matter how exalted. For I take it 
that honest service faithfully rendered is approved 
of God, and that according to our talent there is 
no highest or lowest calling with Him, no humble 
or exalted vocation. To believe otherwise is to 
impute respect of persons to our Heavenly Father. 
Such imputation is unthinkable. From our mun- 
dane view-point one calling may rank higher than 
another. With God there is no inherent differ- 
ence between vocations. What differentiates is 
not the calling as such, but the spirit in which it is 
pursued, the fidelity and consecration and moving 
power of the one called. 

I should like for the young life that reads these 
lines and that is in doubt as to what calling to 
choose to decide for himself the issue in the face 
of certain principles that are fundamental. If he 
will examine the vocations that are appealing to 
him by these principles and then ask our Father 
God to approve the decision that appeals most to 



134 THE CHUEOH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



his heart, I shall be satisfied ; and if God approves, 
he will be happy. 

1. Will the vocation I incline to enter call for 
the full exercise of my best powers? Because 
nothing less than my best and my full ability can 
express my love for God for His loving-kindness 
to me. 

2. Is it a vocation that will enable me to grow ? 
Because the law of the Kingdom is growth and my 
life-work must not be like the busy activity of the 
ant. " First the blade, then the ear, then the full 
corn in the ear." 

3. Will its effect on the four-fold aspect of the 
normal life be salutary? Because following the 
example of my Master I am to increase in wisdom 
(mentally) and in stature (physically) and in fa- 
vour with God (spiritually) and man (socially). 

4. Will it provide a support for myself and 
those dependent upon me ? Because it is my duty 
to found a home and rear a family and the la- 
bourer is worthy of his hire. 

5. What preparation will it require and am I 
willing to make it? Because I have no right to 
enter upon any calling inadequately prepared. 

6. Is the calling overcrowded? Because I am 
anxious that my life shall count for human better- 
ment and this result is to be achieved in brotherly 
cooperation and not by the fierce competition that 
shall crowd my brother to the wall. 

7. Have I the disposition and taste to meet the 



THE KINGDOM 



135 



requirements of this vocation? Because no one 
can do well that which is distasteful and unsuited 
to his talents. 

8. Do those who know me best think this voca- 
tion the proper one for me? Because my friends 
know me even as I am known and their voice is in 
many respects the voice of God to me. 

9. Does my Father God approve my entering 
upon this vocation? Because no man has a right 
to leave God out of the most momentous issue of 
his life. 

Keeping these nine principles in mind, let the 
youth test the various vocations that are upper- 
most in his mind by them and then let him go to 
his life-work with the hilarity of one who rejoices 
to run a race. Let him rejoice that he has found 
his place and let him acquit himself like a hero in 
the cause he has embraced. Let him thank God 
for life and its opportunities and let him work in 
his chosen realm as " a king and priest unto God." 
Let him say " This one thing I do, and, God being 
my helper, I can do no other." 

What shall I do? Ask God. Follow His call, 
no matter where it may lead or what it may cost, 
and rest assured that following His call will serve 
the Kingdom and promote it among men. 



VIII 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 

I. The Ten Commandments 

THE Ten Commandments found in Exo- 
dus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, to be prop- 
erly evaluated, should be viewed not in 
the light of Christian standards, but in the social 
and racial setting of the times of their enunciation. 
They summarize the legal system of the Hebrews 
in splendid fashion and represent a tremendous 
advance over the legal code of any people in the 
tribal nomadic stage of their development. 

Let us get clearly before us the situation of 
these people when this law was given. They had 
no technically organized government, but were 
twelve tribes with family groups within the tribes. 
Every nation or racial group we know of in that 
stage of its development had its gods, represented 
by images, the names of the divinities being freely 
used as a sort of spell to get advantage over other 
tribes, groups or individuals, with no regular rest- 
day for the tribes whose work-hours, as well as 
whose work-days, were terminated only by their 
powers of endurance, with the practice of doing 
away with old and infirm members of society by 

136 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 137 



starving or outright slaughter, and with even such 
laws of humanitarianism as had appeared limited 
to the group or clan and not conceived of as uni- 
versally applicable. Such we may assume was the 
ideal of life and society obtaining among these 
people when Moses came to them with the great 
moral and religious code which we have styled the 
Ten Commandments and which we recognize to 
have played such a momentous part in the moral 
and spiritual evolution of mankind. 

How heroic it was for this man Moses to come 
to a people like this with the message of the first 
commandment, providing for the worship of one 
God only ! Each household, each tribe was accus- 
tomed among such people, we must remember, to 
have its own private divinities. All these are out- 
lawed and monotheism is to be the only legitimate 
worship. The history of the Hebrew people shows 
how difficult it was for them to adopt this com- 
mandment. ~ Time and again they suffered for 
failure to keep this first injunction of the deca- 
logue, and the captivity in Babylon was necessary 
finally to eradicate the tendency to such apostasy. 

The second commandment is equally as start- 
ling, eliminating all graven images, in which again 
every household indulged to the fullest extent of 
its ability. We know how converts to Christian- 
ity in non-Christian lands even in our day cling 
tenaciously to their idols, or at least to one. It 
was a high standard Moses set for the Hebrews. 



138 THE CHUBCH IN THE PKESENT OEISIS 



The same is true of the third, forbidding the use 
of God's name in incantations and charms and 
other illegitimate ways. So profound an impres- 
sion did this commandment make on the Jews that 
they would not even pronounce or write the sacred 
name of Jehovah, using in its stead Adonai. It 
was asking a great deal for a primitive people to 
forego the use of the name of deity to secure ad- 
vantage for one's self or as forestalling an enemy. 

The fourth, too, is most audacious, considering 
the times, not so much because a rest-day was pro- 
vided, but that the injunction is given to work six 
days each week, an injunction we need even to-day. 
The poor and unfortunate needed a rest-day. It 
is the first instance of labour legislation regulating 
the hours of the toiling masses. The law of the 
seventh day of rest is written in man's nature, and 
where it is transgressed, as in France in the days 
of the Revolution, direct physical and moral con- 
sequences follow. But the rich and powerful 
needed also to understand that work is incumbent 
upon all, and so all are commanded to work six 
days. No man can earn or inherit the right to be 
a parasite on his fellows, according to this com- 
mandment. 

The next six commandments, known as the sec- 
ond table of the law, have to do with our human 
relations, just as the first table laid its emphasis on 
our relation to God. This group of injunctions, 
negative for the most part, is, if anything, more 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 139 



remarkable for its audacity, considering the times, 
than even the first table. It is a magnificent bill 
of human rights. The first and only- positive com- 
mand among them means little to us in comparison 
to its implications then. A man, we have said, 
was not required or even expected, according to 
the law of the nomad group, to protect his parents 
in their old age or decrepitude. Either he could 
starve or kill them. This commandment provided 
not only for their protection, but even for their 
honour, and promises a blessing on those who 
obey. How happy we should be for God's pity 
toward the aged ! This commandment placed the 
Hebrews in the forefront of moral leadership 
among the ancients. 

The remaining five commandments of the sec- 
ond table are negative, but even in that form they 
contain the seeds of that social gospel Jesus came 
to proclaim and of that brotherhood of man He 
revealed. Murder, adultery, theft, false witness, 
covetousness as against a member of the same clan 
or tribe were as a matter of expediency and racial 
policy forbidden among all tribal groups, but had 
no application to other clans, tribes, or groups. 
Moses' law makes their prohibition universal in its 
application. Just what a magnificent moral ad- 
vance-step this was is difficult for us to compre- 
hend. It required more sacrifice for them in the 
stage of their civilization than it would have re- 
quired for us to enter the League of Nations, and 



140 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



yet we did not enter. To say the least of it, it was 
marvellous for any leader of such a people to pre- 
pare such legislation and equally marvellous for 
them to acquiesce in it. By no law of legal devel- 
opment or racial growth can it be accounted for. 
Nor does the rare educational advantage Moses 
had enjoyed account for it. The law in all essen- 
tial aspects came from God and was the best reve- 
lation of His will and purpose the men who re- 
ceived it were able to accept at that time. Later 
generations were able to bear higher and holier 
laws, but not even yet has the decalogue been 
junked nor will it ever be. It had in it the germs 
of the Christian system, which grew out of it as 
normally as tHe fruit does out of the limb. 

. The Eleventh Commandment 
The Ten Commandments, great and forward- 
looking though they were in the day of their 
proclamation, were not accepted as God's final in- 
junction to men. They were a marvellously high 
standard for Israel when Moses gave them, but it 
was not long before the prophets began to see pos- 
sibilities of enlargement of conception and even of 
amendment. We find Ezekiel saying: " What 
mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the 
land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, 
and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I 
live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion 
any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 141 



all souls are mine: As the soul of the father, so 
also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sin- 
neth it shall die " (Ezek. 18: 2-4). And likewise 
(Jer. 81: 29-30), "In those days they shall say 
no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and 
the children's teeth are set on edge.' , These two 
prophets here upon the authority of Jehovah abro- 
gate that portion of the second commandment 
which represents God as visiting the sins of the 
fathers upon the children. 

Jesus proclaimed a fulfillment of the command- 
ments in many particulars. We find Him in His 
Sermon on the Mount giving new meanings to 
" Thou shalt not kill " and " Thou shalt not com- 
mit adultery." His whole gospel is an enlarge- 
ment and fulfillment of the Ten Commandments 
and other laws of the Jews, pointing out errors of 
interpretation where such had crept in, as in His 
definition of " neighbour," and everywhere en- 
larging the function of religion and its institu- 
tions, as in His treatment of the Sabbath. It was 
this evolutionary method of His teachings respect- 
ing a body of truth and doctrine which His hearers 
of the ruling orders considered fixed once and for 
all that contributed to His death. The Jewish law 
was intolerant and its devotees had not thought of 
permitting it to be abrogated. 

In the last week of His ministry when the vari- 
ous classes of the opposition were doing all in 
their power to entrap Him, knowing His liberal 



142 THE OHUECH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



view as to the Commandments, a lawyer of the 
Pharisees asked Him " Which is the first com- 
mandment of all? " hoping to get the people who 
were listening divided in their opinion as to the 
accuracy of His discernment. It was then that He 
gave what we may with no impropriety call " The 
Eleventh Commandment/ ' not that this sentiment 
had not been expressed long ago among the Jews. 
I quote His words from Mark 12: 30 — "And thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with 
all thy strength." This commandment takes pre- 
cedence over all the others : it is " the first com- 
mandment 99 we hear Him say. Let us look at it 
briefly. 

It places the emphasis not on authority, but on 
love, love which is the basis of religion, its foun- 
dation stone. It tells four ways in which we are 
to exemplify our love. First we are to love God 
with all our heart. The heart signifies the affec- 
tions and includes all the warmth of the emotional 
nature. There is to be feeling, expressiveness, 
sympathy, devotion in our love for God. No 
mere perfunctoriness of declaration can meet the 
requirement of God that we love Him with all our 
heart. 

In the next place we are to love Him with all 
our soul. Many people have identified the soul 
with the heart and others with the mind. Others 
still have made it signify all the faculties of the 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 143 



psychic nature viewed as a unity. In some places 
in the Scriptures it means life. Evidently the 
meaning here is the will. If this be the correct in- 
terpretation, it is tribute to our freedom and we 
are to understand that our love for God is to be no 
coercion, but the willing outflow of a free and in- 
dependent personality. God wishes our love. 
His heart aches when we turn aside from loving 
Him to the pursuit of vain and empty phantoms, 
but our love must be free and voluntary, that His 
joy may be full in our affection for Him. 

In the third place we are to love Him with all our 
mind. How grateful we should be for this ! Our 
love for Him is to be based on intellectual honesty 
and integrity. Our faith is to be a faith that shall 
commend itself to the mind with which He has 
endowed us and from such a faith our love for 
Him is to issue in a living stream of devotion. 
Then too we are to use our mind to discover His 
truth and demonstrate its potency for the uplift 
of men. The mind takes on a new dignity since 
with it we are to love God. 

And in the fourth place we are to love Him with 
all our strength. Not only does God desire the 
love of our affections and of our will and of our 
mental faculties, but He desires the love of our 
bodies. What honour this for these temples of 
clay, nay, for these temples wherein the Most 
High dwells ! Let us keep these bodies pure from 
every form of evil, let us likewise make them 



1U THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



strong and vigorous and glowing with health that 
through them we may love Him with a strength 
that is one hundred per cent, strong. 

This eleventh commandment is replete with in- 
viting richness for those who love the Lord. 
Vital are its spiritual truths for hearts that hunger 
after Him. Finally, as illustration, let us consider 
why " all " is used with reference to each of the 
four sources of our love for Him ! 

III. The Twelfth Commandment 
When Jesus had given the eleventh command- 
ment in answer to the lawyer's question, He im- 
mediately follows it with another, " Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself." In a different 
phrase this commandment is elsewhere given as 
the Golden Rule, " as ye would that men would 
do to you, do ye also to them likewise. ,, 

This golden rule, this twelfth commandment, is 
really a summary in positive terms of the second 
table of the law. We find it given in the Old 
Testament, as far back as Leviticus 19 : 18. What 
made it essentially a new commandment as Jesus 
enunciated it was the enlargement of the scope of 
its application, the inclusiveness of its interpreta- 
tion of the term neighbour. The Jews understood 
the word neighbour in racial terms. They were 
strict sectarians and considered themselves the 
chosen people in the sense indefensible according 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 145 



to Scripture or the proper conception of God as 
Father. 

Let us turn aside here long enough to define 
the term " chosen people." Why did God choose 
Israel as His people? For the very same reason 
that He has chosen other nations since to be His 
people? Because they chose Him and understood 
His nature and purpose and will better than any 
other people at that time. Historically this is cor- 
rect and demonstrable. No people had the spiri- 
tual discernment of the Hebrews, that is, no con- 
temporary people. God through them therefore 
was then able to give to the races of men the best 
revelation of Himself. It was not because He 
loved them better than He did the Egyptians or 
the Greeks or the Romans. Such respect of na- 
tions is unthinkable with reference to our Heav- 
enly Father. The Jews to-day understand them- 
selves to be " The Chosen People " in a partisan 
sense, but nobody else does. They have refused 
the higher revelation of God in Christ Jesus and 
have ceased to be the spiritual leaders of mankind. 

Returning now to our discussion, the term 
neighbour in the Jewish mind and practice had 
been narrowed down to articulate with their idea 
of the chosen people. Neighbour had racial and 
ecclesiastical significance, but not humanitarian. 
The " stranger within the gate," that is to say, 
proselytes to Judaism, could be included in the 
term, but Samaritans and Amalekites and Phi- 



146 THE CHUECH IN THE PBESENT CEISIS 



listines and the other nationalities were excluded. 
Jesus enlarged their conception by pouring a new, 
a capacious meaning into the word. 

You recall the circumstances. A lawyer had 
come, inquiring about the commandments, and 
Jesus had given him this one, and he willing to 
justify himself inquired, " Who is my neigh- 
bour ? " Then Jesus told him that exquisite para- 
ble of the Good Samaritan, how that a Jew had 
fallen among thieves, how that a priest and a 
levite (small letters mine) had passed him by, and 
how that a Samaritan (capital letters mine) of a 
hated race ministered unto him. Even the prej- 
udiced lawyer had to confess to the truth, the 
larger truth, Jesus had opened up to him. Our 
neighbour is any one who shows us mercy. So 
many times we have thought of our neighbours 
simply as ones to whom we could show mercy. 
That is true, but Jesus defined it the other way 
and evidently with a purpose. A neighbour, He 
tells us, is the man who shows mercy and as 
Christians we are to go and do likewise. It is 
an active principle, not a static doctrine, that the 
Master gives us in the twelfth commandment. It is 
this that makes the new commandment so dynamic 
in its influence over the life of those who have 
caught its spirit. It is far above the standard set 
by the original decalogue, as far above it as the 
noonday light is above the first shafts of the 
dawn of a perfect day. Yet even here we can see 



THE BIBLICAL COMMAOT)MEOTS 147 



that the original law was schoolmaster to the 
larger truth. And even yet we begin instinctively 
to feel that there is a still larger principle to be 
grasped before we fully comprehend the ideal 
relationship of man to man. 

IV. The Thirteenth Commandment 
It is possible for a man to keep the ten com- 
mandments, also the eleventh and twelfth, and 
still not be of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We 
have Jesus' own words for this. In the famous 
encounter with various sectarian groups recorded 
for us in Mark 12 and particularly in His encoun- 
ter with the lawyer who inquired as to the first 
commandment of all, after Jesus had given him 
that positive and enlarged summary of the ten 
commandments contained in the two command- 
ments we have just discussed, this conversation 
ensues : 

" And the scribe said unto Him, ' Well, Master, 
Thou hast said the truth: for there is one God: 
and there is none other but Him : and to love Him 
with all the heart, and with all the understanding,- 
and with all the soul, and with all the strength, 
and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than 
all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when 
Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said 
unto him, Thou art not far from the Kingdom of 
God." 

Is there then any commandment the keeping of 



148 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



which will put us safely within the Kingdom of 
God? Surely the Master would not leave us hesi- 
tant and hopeless in such a situation, and He has 
not. Praise His name, He has not left us in 
doubt. He is the Way and has told us how we 
can walk in its path, the path that leads to Him 
and to God. 

On that memorable night before His crucifix- 
ion, our Master gave utterance to that noblest 
commandment of the Christian faith. We find it 
in John 15 : 12 — " This is my commandment, 
That ye love one another, as I have loved you." 
This is the thirteenth commandment and points 
out the pathway of Christian privilege and duty 
with never a suggestion of doubt as to its impli- 
cation. We are to love each other. How much? 
As we would that men should love us? Not so, 
but even as Jesus loved His disciples. But how 
much did He love them? To the extent that He 
gave His life for them. This then is the culmina- 
tion of man's love for man — that he should be 
ready, willing, anxious to give his life for his 
brotherman, without any suggestion from his 
brotherman that he should make such sacrifice. 

The golden rule pales into insignificance in com- 
parison with the white light of this acme of the 
revelation of man's brotherhood obligations to 
his brotherman. There is to be no arithmetical 
weighing of devotion and sacrifice given and re- 
ceived in the relations of man to man. Love is the 



THE BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS 149 



law of the Kingdom of God, love that delights to 
give itself, that never considers what is due it, but 
only what it can do for brotherman, love that 
never faileth even in the experiences that mean 
the giving up voluntarily of life itself for the be- 
loved brother. 

What sentiment of sage or prophet or seer can 
match this commandment of the Christ that obli- 
gates me to seal my faith in social solidarity, in 
brotherhood's reality, with my blood? We can 
sense its full and ample meaning only in that ago- 
nizing scene in the Garden, crowned by that tragic 
experience on the Cross. " This is my command- 
ment, That ye love one another, as I have loved 
you." 



IX 



RELIGION AND REVELATION 

I. Revealed Religion 

THERE is a tendency very pronounced 
among sociologists, as also among the 
biological and historical scientists, to ac- 
count for religion on natural grounds. They tell 
us how dreams, trances, shadows, accidents caus- 
ing stunning, death, ancestor worship, the unex- 
plained forces of the natural world, all suggested 
to primitive man the thought of a life separate 
from the bodily existence and of beings higher 
and more powerful than himself. 

It is not our purpose now to argue for or 
against these propositions, but merely to state that 
these origins for religion do not lead to God. The 
most they can do is to point the way and indicate 
the direction. The learned Greeks erected their 
altar to " The Unknown God " and the ritualistic 
Roman his altar " Sive Deo Sive Deae/' whether 
god or goddess he did not know nor did it bother 
him much to find out. The most pathetic figure 
of our day is that of Herbert Spencer, the great 
and honest seeker after the truth. And what did 
he discover? The Great Unknowable. That was 
all, and that Is all any religion of nature and rea- 
son can discover. 

150 



RELIGION AND EEVELATION 151 



The Bible plainly teaches us that no man by 
searching can find out God (Job 11:7). How then 
are we to find Him out? By revelation. God has 
not left Himself without witnesses. He has in all 
generations spoken by His own chosen instru- 
ments, those of the natural order already referred 
to, and also by persons especially responsive to 
His will and so capable of being His mouthpieces 
to their fellows. So have developed the sacred 
writings of various nations and cults, not all of 
them of the same value, because not all who es- 
sayed to speak for God were equally able to com- 
prehend His will and interpret His purpose. 

There is some truth in the Koran, in the Veda, 
in the Zend-Avesta, and even in the traditional 
myths of the roaming tribes of men. Through all 
these media God has been endeavouring to express 
His will and portray His nature to human beings, 
in so far as they have been able to hear. But the 
very finest revelation of His will and purpose and 
nature has come to us through the Hebrew race 
and is preserved for us in the Christian Bible. 
I like to think of our Christian faith as being a 
higher revelation of God's will for men than these 
other faiths, just as I think of the New Testament 
as being a higher revelation of His will than the 
Old Testament. 

The Christian religion has nothing to fear from 
the religion of the naturalists nor from the re- 
ligions of other revelations. It can meet them 



152 THE OHUECH IN THE PKESENT CRISIS 



confidently and demonstrate its superiority by the 
worth-whileness of its conception of God as Fa- 
ther, of men as brothers through Christ, and of 
its ideal of a perfected humanity progressively 
to be realized in the world. How grateful we 
should be for the high privilege it accords us of 
being workmen together with God to bring His 
Kingdom in ! 

No man can by searching find out God, but 
when God has revealed Himself to any man, what 
would that man accept in exchange for that reve- 
lation? Even the imperfect revelations of the 
Koran and of the Veda and of the other sacred 
writings like them have greatly comforted those 
who have been privileged to appropriate their 
teachings. But when the fuller revelation of 
Christian truth has touched these devotees of the 
less clarified faiths, they have many times cried 
out with joy for the larger and fuller light. Pre- 
eminent in the realm of revealed religion is the 
Holy Bible. Preeminent as revealing the char- 
acter of God is the Christ of the four Gospels. 
Let us search the pages of Holy Writ, for in them 
we shall find the will and purpose and personality 
of our Father God most satisfyingly portrayed, 
and they are they which testify of Him. 

II. Pure Religion 
We do not find many definitions in the Bible. 
It is rather a book of illustrations than a theo- 



BELIGION AND KEVELATION 153 



logical treatise. In this fact there is food for deep 
thought. However, when we do find such a de- 
parture from custom in the Bible and when par- 
ticularly it concerns itself with the one of the 
foundational principles of the Christian life, we 
are glad. 

We have such a situation in the definition given 
us of pure religion. Let us look at it. " Pure 
religion," says James 1 : 27, " and undefiled before 
God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless 
and widows in their affliction, and to keep him- 
self unspotted from the world." This definition 
says pure religion has to do with three things: 
God, fellowman, and one's self. 

1. God. There can be no religion without 
God. We get nowhere without recognizing His 
primacy in all religious activity and aspiration. 
Men have tried many substitutes for God, such as 
nature, philosophy, art, agnosticism, pleasure, ac- 
cumulation of wealth, fame, but these have all, 
however faithfully and conscientiously pursued, 
led only to disappointment. There is no substi- 
tute for God. " In the beginning, God," begins 
the inspired Record, and experience declares that 
" in all things since and even unto the end, God." 
We are glad that James has set us forever straight 
on this point, that there can be no religion with- 
out God. 

2. Fellowman. " To visit the fatherless and 
widows in their affliction," says James. This 



154 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CRISIS 



phrase is typical in two senses — in the nature of 
religion's ministry and in the scope of its inclu- 
siveness. It is necessary that we understand this, 
or we may from this definition get a very ele- 
mentary and superficial notion of our religious 
obligation to our fellowman. Surely pure re- 
ligion has to do with more than " the fatherless 
and widows in their affliction." What about the 
labouring man, sick or out of a job? What about 
our brothers and sisters in non-Christian lands? 
What about the bright boys and sweet girls with 
the bloom of youth and hope on their ruddy 
cheeks, whose parents are too engrossed in the 
" serious business " of life to give them moral 
guidance and provide wholesome and uplifting 
recreation? What about innocent girls driven to 
our great cities in the effort to make a living? 
What also about our young men under similar 
circumstances? What about the aged and de- 
crepit whose last days need sympathy and compan- 
ionship? What about rotten politics? What 
about the partisan press? What about interna- 
tionalism conceived in jealousy and nurtured in 
suspicion? Does pure religion have no word for 
these problems of the human life? If it is speech- 
less before these issues, it is waste of time to urge 
social-minded men to embrace it. The Christ of 
the simple Christian man is interested in all life. 

Then again this phrase of the definition must be 
taken as typical with reference to the nature of re- 



BELIGION AND KEVELATTON 155 



ligion's ministry. As applied even to the special 
classes selected, we would not expect the ministry 
of religion to be exhausted in a mere visit. The 
duty of visiting " the fatherless and widows in 
their affliction " is made typical here not only of 
our general duty of service to brotherman, but also 
of our duty as to the special classes mentioned. 
We will not only visit these sorrowing and af- 
flicted ones, but we will minister to their every 
need. We will also build orphanages for the fa- 
therless and homes for the aged widows. James 
is right in making us plainly see that religion has 
1 first to do with God and also with our relations 
with our brotherman. It cannot be the Christian 
religion and leave out either one of these relation- 
ships. 

3. One's Self. Religion, too, has a balm for 
me as an individual. It offers me a new heart 
and salvation through Jesus Christ. It is personal 
as well as social and God-ward. It is significant 
that this personal relationship is placed third in 
order. Careful analysis of the Christian life 
shows this is correct and that James knew what 
he was defining from personal experience. Love 
can know no selfishness and pure religion is love 
unadulterated. It cannot do other then than place 
itself last in the catalogue of relationships. How 
different this is from the undue emphasis on in- 
dividual salvation in the practice of the Church! 
Then again when our relation to God is right and 



156 THE CH CJECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



our relation to our brotherman is right, it is easy 
for us to keep ourselves " unspotted from the 
world." Contrariwise, we have no possible chance 
of keeping ourselves " unspotted," should our re- 
lationship to God or brotherman come under the 
shadow of having placed self-interest before either 
of them. Least of all does this definition counte- 
nance asceticism. There would be no need to en- 
join men who shrank from social contacts to keep 
themselves unspotted. This definition makes the 
Christian life part and parcel of the world, but it 
is to keep itself " unspotted " and to take the spots 
out of the world itself. 

Pure religion — what is it? A look up — toward 
God ; a look out — toward brotherman ; a look in — 
toward my own heart: these three constitute for 
me the trinity of fundamental relationships of the 
Christian faith. These are pure religion. 

III. Inspiration 
No man can read the Bible and go away from 
it with the notion that it is just an ordinary book. 
No man can trace the historical genesis of this 
same Bible and be dogmatic about .its accuracy in 
every detail. The many conflicting manuscripts 
wherein the judgment of Christian scholars had 
to be exercised to give us the text we now possess 
make it impossible for us to be sure we have even 
now in many places what the sacred writer orig- 
inally said. For the mechanical verbal inspiration 



KELIGION AND EEVELATION 157 



of the Bible there is no defense, save that blind 
and superstitious acceptance of a certain version 
as the real one, evidence to the contrary notwith- 
standing. 

Many have wished the King James version to 
be taken " as the real one/' It is certainly a good 
one, the dignity of its English, the lofty stateliness 
of its spirit, the very evident devotion and rever- 
ence of its translators, the long years of sweet 
and precious association, giving it many claims to 
be regarded as the Word of God. If any version 
could properly be so selected, certainly I would 
vote for this one and so would many another. 
But this cannot be honestly done, because of errors 
of translation, the discovery of many manuscripts 
since 1611, the growth in Christian scholarship 
since, and because of errors of interpretation 
which any translator at any time is by the limita- 
tion of the human judgment bound to include, 
though perhaps without intention. 

The King James translators could not keep out 
such errors of interpretation. The Weymouth 
translation has them. So does the Moffatt. So 
do they all, and necessarily. Even editors of other 
translations by cross-references can make the 
Bible teach their peculiar interpretation of mooted 
questions, as, for example, the Scofield Edition. I 
sometimes wonder if a man like Scofield does not 
subject himself to the curse pronounced in the 
Book on the man who adds to or takes away from 



158 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



it. I would be unwilling to do it myself, such is 
my confidence in the Holy Spirit's ability to di- 
rect every reader to sense the truth of any passage. 

But let us return to the King James errors of 
interpretation, of which for our purpose we will 
cite only the one relating to our title. In 2 Tim- 
othy 3:16, we find that version saying: "All 
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, 
for instruction in righteousness." The most ac- 
curate rendering of this passage according to the 
original Greek says : " All Scripture, given by in- 
spiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for 
reproof, for correction, for instruction in right- 
eousness." 

The difference between these two renderings is 
vast. The former binds the spirit of man, the lat- 
ter challenges him to search and to decide what is 
Scripture and tells him how he may decide. If it 
is inspired of God, it is " profitable for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in 
righteousness." If it is not profitable for one of 
these four purposes, though it may be scripture, 
that is, writing, it is not inspired of God. These 
translators used these norms of judgment when 
they excluded from the Bible the apocryphal 
books accepted by the Catholics. The book of 
Esther gave them a lot of trouble, because it does 
not contain the word God at all. Yet they in- 
cluded it because it was profitable in their judg- 



EELIGION AND EEVELATION 159 



ment " for doctrine, for reproof, for correction," 
or " for instruction in righteousness." Christian 
men and women to-day have the same right to 
their judgment in such matters as the King 
James translators, and if we have the Christian 
spirit, we shall not fall out with each other and 
call each other names if our judgments disagree 
in the conclusions we may honestly and prayer- 
fully reach. 

We must give attention to another matter of 
supreme importance to the individual Christian and 
to the progress of the Christian faith. There must 
be inspiration outside the written Word of God as 
we have it in the Bible, else what means Jesus in 
His remark to His disciples the night before His 
crucifixion, as given in John 6 : 12 — " I have yet 
many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear 
them now"? Has He ever said them? Un- 
doubtedly. To whom? To choice and reverent 
spirits in every age since who have been able and 
receptive to listen and to interpret them to their 
day. Has He ceased so to speak? Most assuredly 
not. Will He ever cease? Not till this world be- 
comes His Kingdom and the marriage of the 
Lamb and the Church triumphant has been con- 
summated. How does He speak? Through His 
Holy Spirit, witnessing to His people and inditing 
His message on faithful hearts. Is this inspira- 
tion? What else is it? 

Is the Bible inspired? We end, where we 



160 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



began, by saying it is unlike any other book. It 
is inspired, the inspired Word of God, and we 
have tests given us in the Bible itself whereby we 
can know it is — for despite all the difficulties un- 
der which the text has reached us, we must un- 
equivocally render our verdict respecting it that it 
" is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor- 
rection, for instruction in righteousness." 



X 



CHRISTIAN HOME LIFE 
I. Books 

THIS is the day of books. More books are 
printed in each succeeding year than in 
any previous one. And they get sold. 
Not all of them get read and very few become the 
real companions of men and women and of boys 
and girls. The companionship of books is a vital 
need just now — the companionship of the right 
sort of books. 

The Bible continues to be the largest seller and 
the most popular volume. Yearly it enters new 
fields and yearly the output in millions of copies 
increases. There is no danger that its popularity 
shall wane. Its truths satisfy the heart. It needs 
no publicity expert to exploit it. This is the first 
and fundamental book of every home, library, 
curriculum of study, and of the individual life. 
Cherish its companionship. Copious association 
with it will bless the life and hallow its thoughts. 
Read it in all its versions and return from its 
reading with ideals quickened for life's inspira- 
tions. 

But there are other books, good books, and 
many of them. We cannot afford to neglect 
them. Many people think newspapers and other: 

161 



162 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



periodicals can supply the place of books. These 
have their important place. The newspapers keep 
us informed on the immediate and contemporary 
facts and issues of life. They are of fleeting value 
only. The magazines, when they are not fiction 
or immediately practical, are speculative and ex- 
plorative. Books fit to be our companions give us 
the results of research and study. They are the 
best product our minds have been able to produce. 
A scientist will write an article of wild speculation 
for his professional journal which he would never 
think of placing in a book. Books are coined 
lives, the deposit of many experiments in the 
laboratory of the mind and soul. They are charts 
along the pathway of human progress. Savages 
produced no books and civilization is inconsistent 
with savagery. A people without books would 
eventually revert to barbarism. 

The value of books in the home is hardly com- 
putable, I mean, of course, the value of books that 
are deservedly our companions. Care must be 
taken in the selection of books for such purpose. 
There should be as many libraries in a home, or 
rather as many sections, well-marked and distinct, 
as there are members of the family circle. Fa- 
ther's books should suit his taste and mother's 
hers, and each child should be provided for. Even 
the prattling baby will have its section of books, 
which mother or older brother or sister or nurse 
or father will interpret where interpretation is 



CHEISTIAN HOME LIFE 163 



required. The purchase of a new book should be 
endorsed by a family council, for in all essential 
respects it is adopting an outsider into the family 
circle. 

The home should have also its book evenings, 
happy occasions when sixteen-year-old Mary shall 
tell of her most recent-formed companion 
"bound in kid and with the tale inside/' to be 
followed by twelve-year-old Tommy and his latest 
adventure among those most marvellous books for 
boys that now gladden our American youths' 
hearts, and each other member of the family in 
turn will give report. Many homes find the Sun- 
day afternoon of a rainy day thus beautifully dis- 
posed of, and to what profit ! It is a vexing ques- 
tion in many homes how to spend an inclement 
Sunday afternoon. Try this. It is a very relig- 
ious method and most profitable. 

But in order to make such an occasion possible 
there must be provision for reading on the part of 
each member of the family, a definite time set 
aside for reading and cultivation of the compan- 
ionship of books. Such a habit formed in youth 
will bear fruit in age that will be of inestimable 
value. The period thus set aside need not be 
long, a few minutes a day, perhaps, but it should 
be regular and uninterrupted. It is surprising 
what we can achieve over a period of years in just 
ten minutes a day. Longfellow translated into 
English blank verse Dante's Divine Comedy in 



164 THE CHUBCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



just ten minutes a day. Find a time each day for 
the companionship of books. It will prove a mar- 
vellous mental, cultural, spiritual tonic, provided 
the right sort of books is selected. 

Religious books should fill a large place in each 
section of the home's library, and what a wealth 
of such books we have to select from! It would 
seem that God's Spirit is striving with man in our 
day in marvellous fashion, such is the flood of 
good literature literally plunging from our presses. 
Happy is that home that is on the mailing list of 
the denominational publishing houses and of such 
well-known producers of Christian literature as 
The Fleming H. Revell Co., the Macmillan Co., 
George H. Doran Co., The Association Press, The 
Missionary Education Movement, Charles Scribe 
ner's Sons, and many others whom not to mention 
may seem like discrimination, but space forbids. 

" Buy a religious book a week " is a splendid 
practice for any home, and the second week in 
each March is fast becoming known as religious 
book-week. Why not get our names on the mailing 
lists of the producers of religious literature and 
begin our excursion into the practice of buying for 
the home one religious book a week, fifty-two each 
year, assigning them proportionately to each mem- 
ber of the family? It will prove to be a most 
valuable resolution and a practice from which 
with greatest difficulty the home can ever after be 
divorced. 



CHBISTIAN HOME LIFE 165 



Not many of us can know many distinguished 
persons in the flesh. But we can know as many 
as we please in the spirit through the companion- 
ship of books. Cultivate the friendship of all the 
worth-while people we may, we can never reach 
the point where the companionship of good books 
may not yield a rich and happy harvest of noblest, 
of imperishable ideals. He who knows good 
books knows God, for He is Partner with man in 
their production. 

II. Bible Study 
The more I study the Bible the more I see in It. 
This is not true of any other book with which I 
am acquainted. A book is fortunate that is read 
ten years after its publication. Publishers expect 
to melt the plates of most books at the end of five 
years. The book that has value fifty years after 
its writing is a most remarkable volume. But the 
Bible becomes more popular every day and not to 
be acquainted with it is the badge of gross igno- 
rance. 

I have been often asked what I consider the 
best method of Bible study. At different periods 
of my life I would have answered this differently. 
I have no best method. It greatly depends upon 
my own feelings and upon the purpose I have in 
view as to what method appeals to me most. 
Once I read the Bible through consecutively, be- 
ginning at Genesis and reading a chapter each 



166 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



day. This was very profitable and every one 
should at some time read his Bible through just 
as he would any other book. As a method of 
Bible study, however, it is very poor. 

I again read the Bible through chronologically. 
It will surprise you what a light this method will 
throw on many passages, especially if with this 
method you carry along a study of contemporary 
history. The objection to it is that we do not 
know the chronology of some books. It will re- 
pay the effort, however, even if we cannot be exact 
in every detail. 

Then I have read the Bible through by books, 
reading a book at a sitting so as to get a unified 
impression. For this purpose I prefer an edition 
without verse divisions. What a pity our Bibles , 
ever got partitioned off in that fashion! There is 
no inspiration in the verse divisions of the Scrip- 
ture, but there is much annoyance to the mind 
seeking a unity of conception as it reads. This 
method is greatly enhanced by a study of the 
times of each book and the making of an outline 
on a second reading. 

Then I have read by topics, selecting such 
themes as love, faith, baptism, forgiveness, holi- 
ness, truth, worship, man, Christ, the Kingdom, 
God, the Holy Spirit. It is great to get the com- 
prehensive grasp of a fundamental teaching of the 
Bible in this way. I have had my conception of 
the importance of a particular teaching changed 



CHEISTIAN HOME LIFE 167 



essentially by this method of investigating all the 
Bible has to say on a given theme. I used to feel 
uncomfortable when the preacher would mention 
money. I thought then that it would be more 
profitable by far to tell the people about faith or 
love or the new birth. Then I opened God's Word 
by the topic method and to my utter amazement 
found it speaking far more frequently about 
money than about anything else. I then began to 
talk about it myself, wrote a series of articles on 
the theme, became a tither, and enjoyed it so that 
I could not stop at that, and am going yet. It's 
great to know what the Word says about a theme, 
provided you do what it says. 

Another method I have found very suggestive 
is a comparison of the different versions of the 
Scripture, using the King James as the basis, com- 
paring it with five or six others in the English 
tongue, and then with the original Greek, or He- 
brew, the Latin Vulgate, the German and the 
French. We come away from such a critical 
study of a given passage with a new conception of 
the Bible and of the problems involved in getting 
God's message across to men. 

And then I have read the Bible by the hit and 
miss method. Wherever its pages would open, I 
would read. I acquired this habit in youth. I 
took a pledge in my 'teens to read the Bible every 
day and I just had to keep it. That I did not have 
a good method seemed not to trouble me. I was 



168 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



keeping my pledge. Well, it is good to do even 
that much, and to pray daily, too, even if we can 
"do no better than the boy who wrote his prayer 
out and nailed it over his bed and as he crawled in 
would nightly say, pointing to his prayer, " Lord, 
them's my sentiments.' ' What I am trying to say 
is that our Bible study should be regular, daily, 
and if possible more frequent than once a day. 
Nothing contributes to spiritual insight and vital- 
ity like reading God's Word and praying each day. 
The family should arrange for this in its sched- 
ule. 

And that brings me to a further method of 
Bible study, about which I will now speak briefly 
— what is commonly known as the devotional 
method. I would not mention this, lest its omis- 
sion be misunderstood, for all Bible study should 
be devotional, that is, we should be conscious all 
the time we read God's Word that He is present 
to interpret it to us. Unless we have that spirit, 
we might just as well be studying Latin or Math- 
ematics as God's Word. The spirit of devotion, 
of worship, of recognition of God's presence must 
be present in all Bible study to make it a spiritual 
ministry. What is usually meant, however, by 
the devotional study of the Bible I would rather 
denominate the meditative. This does not char- 
acterize all Bible study, but only that trustful 
method of approach by which we read and just 
wait on the Lord. This busy, bustling world 



CHEISTIAN HOME LIFE 169 



needs this method now and needs it sorely. 
" Wait on the Lord." " Speak, Lord, for Thy 
servant heareth." Precious are the moments 
spent in holy meditation, wherein the Lord speaks 
to our receptive hearts! Precious and never-to- 
be-forgotten ! 

III. The Family Altar 
We cannot go back to the time-honoured family 
altar of our fathers. We do not make progress 
backwards in the Christian life. The family altar, 
such as we knew a generation ago and which 
Burns has so beautifully depicted in the Cotter's 
Saturday Night and which exists to-day in isolated 
cases, is gone as an institution for the great mass 
of the people, and we cannot resurrect it. In its 
balmy day it was an agency of marvellous minis- 
tration to the spirituality of the home and of 
society. It was suited to the household stage of 
social development. But we have passed out of 
that stage into the era of community life. The 
complexity and the interlacing interests of life to- 
day even in rural sections render impractical such 
delightful occasions as the family altar provided 
for the beautiful home-life of a generation gone. 

The Sunday school, the Christian Endeavour 
Society or other young people's organization, 
more frequent public worship in the churches, the 
multiplicity of religious books, the custom of pro- 
viding each member of the family with his own 



170 THE CHUEOH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



Bible, the presence in the home of the religious 
newspaper, together with the almost innumerable 
avenues of religious culture and training open to the 
people of this age, have rendered in a measure the 
real reason for that type of family altar inopera- 
tive in the minds of most families. Each member 
of the family, for example, is now urged to read 
his own Bible daily and to pray. The piano 
player and the Victrola bringing the very best the 
world has in the realm of instrumental and vocal 
music makes the singing of the family dismal and 
lacking in appeal. We may lament this, but we 
cannot alter it. The reading habit, too, tends to 
individualize itself and makes against the social 
unity of the home of few books and common in- 
terests. So far nothing has been said about the 
exactions of industry, calling the various mem- 
bers of the family group away to their places of 
employment at different hours, nor of the many 
clubs, guilds, and other organizations which have 
enriched the social life of the family, while in- 
evitably breaking down the home as the social 
center of the family life. 

What are we to do then? Try to reinstitute the 
family altar of a generation ago? It will succeed 
only in spots. I am persuaded that most families 
which can adapt themselves to the regimen of the 
family altar, as the term is technically understood, 
already have it and find it a priceless institution. I 
am also persuaded that the vast majority of Chris- 



CHRISTIAN HOME LIFE 171 



tian homes cannot maintain the family altar and 
that many of them for that reason feel that they 
are rated below par by their pastors and other re- 
ligious experts. I have heard some heads of such 
families talk about this matter, after they had tried 
honestly and failed, and had again and again been 
urged to undertake what they knew they could not. 
do. The result was discouragement, because of 
insistence on a splendid thing, but not an essential 
one in the Christian life of our day, whatever it 
might have been in the days numbered with the 
past. 

What are we to do then ? let us ask again. We 
should insist that the children in the home be given 
religious instruction, parents in this cooperating 
with the Church and Sunday school. We should 
insist that the Bible be read by each member of the 
family daily and prayer offered individually to 
God. We should insist that religious books 
and periodicals be regularly read, arranging 
a schedule for this, just as for Bible reading, 
adapting the schedule to each individual mem- 
ber. In the case of children unable to read, 
there should be a story-telling period and the 
memorization of Scripture and suitable sing- 
ing. The little ones, too, will be taught to pray. 
On the long winter evenings and on Sundays when 
the weather is inclement, let there be reports and 
experiences, while the family is together, garnered 
from reading and other sources, and occasionally 



172 THE CHUEOH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



if it can be done let there be gospel singing. Let 
each meal have a blessing asked by some member 
of the family group, and frequently let there be 
Scripture quotations given at the table by each 
member, the conversation being often directed to- 
ward Christian themes, though it will not be pos- 
sible always to do this nor desirable. Above all 
means at one of the three meals, whichever best 
fits the family schedule, let there be a reading 
from the Scripture daily according to some ap- 
proved plan, followed by a simple prayer. Liter- 
ally tens of thousands of homes employ one or 
more of these methods of religious nurture, and 
many more can be added to the list, many more 
which would be unable to attempt to reset the 
beautiful family altar of the former days into our 
modern homes with all their multiplied interests, 
or which would fail if they should try it. 

And, after all, is this too not a real family altar? 
What is the family altar for? Is it not to focus 
the thought of the members upon God as Father 
and Protector of the home? And does this method 
not accomplish the result for our day which the 
reverent worship of the older time did for our 
fathers ? It is my conviction that it does, and that 
the sooner our Christian leaders so recognize and 
teach, the sooner will be laid in our houses the en- 
during foundations of a truly Christian family 
worship, different from that of former times, but 
in its essential spirit as vital and as fruitful of 
Christian character. 



XI 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 

I. Stewardship 

THE historian of the Church will no doubt 
describe our generation as the " Steward- 
ship Era." The Church has not been 
afraid to teach this obligation, though occasionally 
some stingy layman has objected by insisting that 
all the Church wants is money. Well, with such 
men, it never gets what it wants. 

And in this teaching the Church is entirely right. 
The Bible has more to say about money and its uses 
than about any other one subject, not because it is 
a root of all evil (though love of it is), but be- 
cause properly used it is an essential agency by 
which the Kingdom will come. People who are so 
vociferous about the tendency of the " new the- 
ology 99 to eliminate the doctrine of the new birth 
which is mentioned specifically only once, ought not 
to be so opposed to tithing, which is mentioned so 
often. Which of these two classes is the more 
heretical? Perhaps it is unkind to say it (and a 
minister wouldn't), but I have a haunting suspicion 
that the Christian who opposes the stewardship 

173 



174 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



program of the Kingdom on the ground that all the 
Church wants is money, has yet lying before him 
the happy experience of the new birth. " For 
where your treasure is, there will your heart be 
also." And if a man's treasure be in his pocket 
or a bank or stocks and bonds, where should we 
look for his heart, according to Jesus ? 

A false teaching has sprung up respecting tith- 
ing — from two diverse angles. The first is the 
notion that the tithe is all that is required or ex- 
pected of a steward in the Kingdom. Even the 
Hebrew law of the tithe provided for offerings to 
the Lord's work. Jesus reinforced the teaching 
of the tithe in Matthew 23: 23, but the universal 
law of love which characterized His Kingdom's 
conception of Christian duty and privilege applies 
here also. Surely a man will not do less for love 
than the law required! The Christian standard 
of giving is " as God hath prospered." No Chris- 
tian will be content to give less than a tenth, and 
those to whom prosperity has come will give will- 
ingly, cheerfully, many tithes, because of their love 
for the Lord. Not how much we give, but how 
much we have left behind, is the measure of a 
man's Christian benevolence. The poor widow 
gave more than they all. A wealthy Christian 
recently gave a million for famine sufferers in 
Europe. I know a widow who in giving ten dol- 
lars gave more than this splendid, generous Chris- 
tian layman did. 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 



175 



The second error in regard to tithing is that the 
giving of the tenth leaves us free to do as we 
please with the remaining nine-tenths, thus making 
the tithe a sort of penance fee for selfish use of 
what we claim as our very own. Some Christians 
have a similar notion about Sunday. We should 
lead holy lives on that day, as a sort of therapeutic 
for our secular life of the other six days. Other 
Christians make of certain acts which they think 
of as peculiarly spiritual fetishes to ward off the 
evil consequences of other acts which they call so- 
cial or physical or intellectual or economic or 
moral. We know how impossible such partition- 
ing off of life is. The spirit of the Master must 
go with us seven days each week and in all the ex- 
periences of life. That spirit must control the use 
of every penny we have at our disposal. We are 
to recognize the stewardship of money as applying 
not to one-tenth, but to ten-tenths. 

But even the correction of these two errors is 
not ample. The doctrine of stewardship needs to 
be enlarged till it includes not only money, but tal- 
ent as well. The Church has been entirely right 
in recognizing the ability to make money as a gift 
of God. Individual Christian leaders have also 
been right in insisting that stewardship as respects 
the money-making talent has application not only 
to the use of the money after it is made, but also 
to the method of its making. This complete view 
needs now to become the universal concept of the 



176 THE CHTJKCH IN THE PEESEOT CEISIS 



Church. Christian business men must be taught 
that they are Christians in business and that no 
tainted money can be purified by giving any por- 
tion of it or even all of it away. When such a 
conception of stewardship pervades the laymen of 
the churches, it will be impossible for Christian 
leaders to offer as excuse for their property's use 
for prostitution, that they had acted through 
agents and were not responsible, as happened when 
Chicago's Vice Commission published the list of 
property owners of the dens of iniquity of that 
city. In that day, too, a wealthy Christian, ten- 
ant-house owner, will not unwittingly subscribe 
with tears of sympathy for a benefit fund for a 
poor widow whom he had ordered ejected from 
one of his hovels. Christians will in that day re- 
fuse to own stock in industries that violate the 
gospel of Jesus in their organization and practice. 

It is the lack of this conception of stewardship 
on the part of leading churchmen engaged in in- 
dustry that embitters the labouring man against 
the Church and nerves a man like Bouck White in 
his " The Call of the Carpenter," thus to parody 
the Twenty-third Psalm : " The Lord is my part- 
ner, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down 
in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still 
waters. He restoreth my reputation. He leadeth 
me in the paths of big philanthropies for my name's 
sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of la- 
bour strikes and revolution, I will fear no evil. For 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 



177 



Thou art with me: Thy Church and Thy priest- 
hood, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table 
before me in the presence of starving enemies. 
Thou anointest my tongue with oil: my cup run- 
neth over. Surely homage and flattery shall fol- 
low me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in 
a big tomb hereafter." 

It is safe to prophesy that the proclamation of 
the whole doctrine and obligation of stewardship, 
both for capitalist and laboring man, can remove 
such misunderstanding, and that nothing else can. 
The Church has brought democracy measurably to 
bear on religious, domestic, personal, and political 
issues. It must now bring it to bear upon in- 
dustry, which affects fundamentally the life and 
well-being of every individual as even these for- 
mer issues do not. But the Church has the 
remedy — the gospel of Jesus Christ expressing 
itself in full stewardship of life and all its powers 
and relations. Let us hope the historian of the 
Church shall be able to record of us that we in- 
cluded in our doctrine of stewardship the complete 
program of love and brotherhood Jesus taught. 

II. " Thou Fool " 
" The ground of a certain rich man brought 
forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, 
saying, What shall I do, because I have no room 
where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This 
will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build 



178 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and 
my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou 
hast much goods laid up for many years; take 
thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said 
unto him, Thou fool." 

Yet according to the wisdom of the world this 
man was exceedingly wise and prudent. Wherein 
then did his folly consist? Why should God call 
him, "Thou fool"? 

This rich man was a fool in thinking he had 
produced the bountiful crop that overtaxed his 
garners. He forgot that the land, the seasons, the 
seed, the labour of man and beast had helped him 
in its production. " My fruits," " my barns," 
"my goods" — these are the attitudes of a fool. 
No farmer should ever feel able to say " my " with 
reference to any crop. Forces beyond his control 
make or mar his fortune. Every farmer should 
be reverent and a worshipper of God. Whenever 
a man in any industry or occupation or profession 
begins to regard his achievements as his own, 
mark him down as a fool. He may appear wise 
and be so esteemed, but such pride always precedes 
a fall. The fool says of his crop or his painting 
or his speech or his book, " This is mine ; I pro- 
duced it." The wise man knows that in all he 
does he is a worker together with God and his 
brotherman, and his attitude toward things men 
ascribe to him as his very own will be mightily 
affected by that knowledge. 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 179 



This man was a fool also in not thinking of the 
claim his brotherman had on his possessions. He 
not only refers to " my fruits," but to " all my 
fruits." He had no thought of sharing them with 
anybody. No doubt he had neighbours that were 
poor and needy. No doubt he had relatives who 
desired and deserved his assistance. No doubt 
there were calls for benevolence of varied char- 
acter coming to him from many sources. No 
doubt the religious system presented its appeals to 
him, as it does to men of wealth to-day. He 
brushed all these claims and appeals aside, and 
announced his intention to gather " all " into his 
larger barns. Andrew Carnegie declared it was 
disgraceful to die rich. Men of wealth are ready 
in our day to recognize the claim of the poor, of 
the unfortunate, of charitable institutions and 
agencies upon their material possessions. This 
man recognized no such claim and because he did 
not so recognize, God declared him to be a fool. 

But this man's supreme folly is seen in the 
declaration he made to his soul — " Soul, thou hast 
much goods laid up for many years; take thine 
ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Materialism in 
this man has borne its perfect fruit — he identifies 
his soul with his body. He does not hesitate to 
say that his soul is to eat, drink, and be merry. 
This is ever the danger with those who possess 
great riches. " The deceitfulness of riches 99 is 
the phrase in one of the parables. It was a rich 



180 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



man who went away from Jesus sorrowful, and of 
no other is such misfortune recorded. It is a 
terrible risk to run — this of becoming rich. How 
many times have poor men, active in the work of 
the Kingdom, lost their interest in that work when 
wealth with its responsibilities crowded their days 
and hearts with anxious cares! It has been said 
that it is always a question when a Christian be- 
gins to grow rich, whether the Kingdom is to gain 
a fortune or lose a soul. This rich man went the 
limit — he identified his soul with his body. 
Material things have their legitimate place, but the 
soul does not eat or drink them and thereby be- 
come merry. The wise man makes them serve 
the interest of his soul through ministry to his 
body and the bodies of his brothermen. Whoso 
has any other view of wealth and its uses is a fool. 

III. Religion a Utility 
Otherworldliness is not a proper definition of 
the Christian religion. " Heaven and Hell " are 
not preached now as they once were. Yet the fact 
remains that for many Christians the winning 
of Heaven and the escape from Hell sums up the 
essence of the faith. They have missed the heart 
of the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, 
that the Christian life has compensations here and 
now that fully justify its earnest pursuit. 

Did Christ teach a utilitarian religion? Is re- 
ligion properly to be conceived as a workable 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 



181 



hypothesis for this life or is it a kind of morphia 
to soothe the pains and heartaches of this present 
existence by the promise of better days ahead? 
The Jews who, as has been already said, had the 
keenest religious sense of any ancient people, were 
certainly and avowedly utilitarian. Before they 
were a settled people, they looked forward to 
their Promised Land, and after they became a 
nation, religion was constantly held up as the 
guarantee of national perpetuity as well as of in- 
dividual prosperity. They expected results im- 
mediate and present for their religious con- 
duct. 

A careful and judicial analysis of Jesus' teach- 
ing will force us to conclude that He was frankly 
utilitarian in His view. " Come unto Me, all ye 
that labour and are heavy laden." Why? Be- 
cause " My yoke is easy and My burden is light." 
" Give, and it shall be given unto you, good meas- 
ure, pressed^ down, and shaken together, and run- 
ning over, shall men give into your bosom." 
Why ? " For with the same measure that ye mete 
withal it shall be measured to you again." " Seek 
ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteous- 
ness." Why? "And all these things shall be 
added unto you." Jesus preached on the Last 
Judgment, but His gospel had utilitarian value, 
too, for this present life. He declared Himself to 
be the life and that He had come that we might 
have life and that we might have it more abun- 



182 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



dantly. He intended us all to be abundantly cared 
for here and now. 

What we need to-day is to get men and women 
to see that religion pays big dividends in the year 
1921 and while we live our daily life. Men will 
in this day not pay much attention to a religion 
that merely gives them a promissory note on the 
bank of Heaven or that offers them as the reward 
for righteous living here an inheritance due to be 
entered upon at some future judgment day. It is 
a utilitarian age and nothing that is unworkable 
appeals to us, no matter how earnestly we may be 
exhorted to accept it. 

Jesus was in thorough sympathy with this atti- 
tude. The gospel He preached and taught relates 
us to God and it also keeps our feet on the ground. 
The Christian leaders of the world need to realize 
this dual aspect of the Kingdom and make their 
proclamation of the gospel complete and symmet- 
rical. There are literally thousands of men and 
women out of the churches to-day, not because 
they are unchristian, but because they cannot en- 
dorse the half-way presentation of the Christian 
life as our pulpits teach it. A full message 
would win their allegiance and greatly promote the 
Kingdom's advance. 

Religion is the only force that can heal the eco- 
nomic problems of mankind. Religion is faith, 
mutual trust, brotherhood. It is also an energiz- 
ing force, a spirit that incites to action and rejoices 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 183 



in serving. It is love and sacrifice, love that leads 
to sacrifice, both having their utilitarian compen- 
sation in the good that comes to others and the 
prosperity that attends the cause to which we have 
dedicated ourselves. Hence the blessedness of 
persecution and the glory of martyrdom! Hence 
also the explanation of that historic paradox, that 
the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church's 
prosperity ! Love and sacrifice pay. Every Chris- 
tian understands this and knows that " it is more 
blessed to give than to receive." 

But is this true in business ? What is the mat- 
ter with business to-day? Selfishness infests it 
like a cancerous growth. Jealousy, distrust, ha- 
tred, personal or class aggrandizement, the very 
antithesis of religion — these characterize business 
both from the standpoint of the employer and of 
the employee. What is the way out? Religion 
and religion only. Capitalist and labouring man 
are quarrelling over the division of what is pro- 
duced already. What we need is a spirit of co- 
operation that will unite both capitalist and la- 
bourer in the endeavour to produce more that 
there may be enough to go around and to spare. 
That "spirit of cooperation" is the sense of broth- 
erhood, of oneness, of social solidarity, of democ- 
racy which we know to be the Christian religion, 
in which we come to think not of what we have, 
but of what we can give. Let us preach it and 
practice it and we will all be millionaires. 



184 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



Religion that does not lead men to work harder 
and make them prosperous is fundamentally de- 
fective. It is sometimes pointed out that people 
of means are in the churches, to the discredit of 
the churches, as if these people have sought the 
Church because they are well-to-do. The very re- 
verse is true. These people are well-to-do, because 
they were religious, unless perchance they inher- 
ited their wealth. The wealth that a man earns as 
a Christian will do him no harm, unless he forgets 
the source of his prosperity. But there is a tre- 
mendous connotation in that "unless." For so 
many times it happens that prosperity deadens the 
spiritual sense through the satisfactions wealth 
brings and the power and prestige it confers. In- 
herited wealth has scant justification in the pro- 
gram of the Christian faith. It is dangerous to 
become a rich man: it is almost universally disas- 
trous to be the inheritor of great wealth, because 
those who inherit have not had the aid of religion 
in acquisition which is true of most men who have 
created great estates. 

Religion is intensely utilitarian. We need its 
faith, its mutual trust and confidence, its spirit of 
service, its love and sacrifice, its sense of unity and 
solidarity in the every-day problems of life. Its 
prayer resource, too, we need to unlock the hidden 
treasures of the soul and to release for practical 
affairs the marvellous possibilities of the heart. 
Religion can work wonders if we are willing to 



MONEY AND THE KINGDOM 185 



give it a chance and do not forget it when it has 
brought us to achieve great things, whether they 
be wealth or science or art or literature or influ- 
ence or moral and spiritual leadership. " Seek ye 
first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added unto you." 



XII 



DEEPER YET 

I. Brotherhood's Obligation 

I AM grateful to Jesus for teaching us of 
brotherhood. This principle has illustration 
in every experience of mankind. It is a 
mighty contagion which is destined to become epi- 
demic in every land and in all of life. We know 
now that men are brothers, whether they will or 
not, whether they acknowledge it or not. Noth- 
ing can happen to any man anywhere which is not 
of vital concern to me, and fraught with weal or 
woe to my life. Typhus in Bombay threatens 
America with death. Ignorance in Russia men- 
aces the liberties of all the world. Autocracy in 
Germany cursed the race as it had never before 
been cursed. Race pride in Japan necessitates 
great naval programs for other nations. The 
poorly clad and insufficiently nourished washer- 
woman of the dark alley sends to the millionaire's 
palace on Fifth Avenue along with his white linen 
the microbes that infest her aching frame and he 
dies of tuberculosis. We cannot escape the conse- 
quences of our kinship. 

Poets have descanted on the white man's bur- 
den, as if the white man were some superior order 
of creation with divine endowment qualifying him 

186 



DEEPEB YET 



187 



for permanent lordship over his brothers of darker 
hue. Magazine writers picture the Yellow Peril 
and even a book occasionally is written on " The 
Rising Tide of Colour." What mean these bur- 
dens, these perils, these rising tides? They can 
mean but one thing — that the white races having 
once tasted the intoxicating beverage of power 
over other races are unwilling to meet the require- 
ments of brotherhood, are unwilling to nurture 
these other races to the point of self-expression, 
are unwilling to abandon the caste system which 
teaches that one man is better than another. The 
exploitation of one race by another is indefensible 
according to Christ's standard of life. And this is 
equally true of the exploitation of one class or of 
one individual by another. In Christian brother- 
hood love is the law of service, and the greatest 
man must be servant of all. 

How far should this principle go? Jesus, fol- 
lowing the Levitical teaching as we have said, 
summarized the six commandments having to do 
with our relations to brothermen by saying, " Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Is this 
enough? This is far superior to any teaching of 
any other religion. View it in the light of the 
Confucian teaching — " Do to no man what you 
would not that he should do to you." This nega- 
tive golden rule never built any hospitals nor 
founded any orphanages nor provided any democ- 
racy. A rich Confucianist lived luxuriantly on a 



188 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



mansion-crowned hill during a famine that took 
off his fellow-citizens by thousands. It was no 
concern of his. But a missionary family shared 
their last crust with the starving natives. Why? 
One was deaf to the sentiment of brotherhood ; the 
other was alive to it. Christ explains the differ- 
ence. 

The strong man is not merely to refrain from 
exploiting his weaker brother, if brotherhood's ob- 
ligation is met. Nor will that obligation be met if 
in addition to such abstention from exploitation, 
he is charitable upon occasion. Brotherhood's 
obligation will require of him also self-denial of 
things and practices to himself thoroughly inno- 
cent and even helpful, if his weaker brother should 
be injured by his indulgence therein. Paul had 
this spirit when he said, "If meat make my 
brother to offend, I will eat no more flesh while 
the world standeth." What moral progress waits 
on a generation of Christians thus spirited in all 
the relations of their life! Apply this principle to 
dancing, through the practice of which seventy- 
five per cent, of fallen women, according to Chi- 
cago's Vice Commission, in that city, came to 
their doom. Apply it to card-playing. Apply it 
to many another innocent pastime. Shall my 
strength send my weaker brother to ruin ? 

But brotherhood is even more than this in its 
obligation. It requires me to identify myself with 
my brother, to counsel for his welfare, to share 



DEEPER YET 



189 



with him every good, and never to cease my pur- 
suit of his interest till we stand as equals with each 
other and with every other man, equals in oppor- 
tunity to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of life's 
best, and to the understanding of our Father 
God's will and purpose for us and our brothers, 
which understanding sent me on my quest of 
brotherhood for him. It is an all-inclusive prin- 
ciple this of Christian brotherhood. Its obliga- 
tion is tremendous, engulfing, and we should 
abandon it as hopeless, were we dependent upon 
our own strength and wisdom to meet it. We 
have Christ to lead and guide us in it all — Christ, 
through Whom we can do all things. 

II. The Unpayable Debt 
A man's attitude toward his debts is a deciding 
issue in his character. The spendthrift never 
worries in regard to his debts — he lets the other 
fellow worry." The penurious man never fails to 
worry over what is due him. Some men exact the 
uttermost penny from their brothers, but have to 
be sued before paying an honest obligation. Jesus 
tells of a man who had been kindly treated by his 
master to whom he owed a great debt, who went 
out immediately and had a poor man cast in prison 
because he could not pay a small obligation due 
him. The Lord's prayer, set as our model, en- 
joins us to pray that our debts be forgiven "as 
we forgive our debtors." 



190 THE CHUBCH IN THE PEESENT CRISIS 



Debt is a prevalent fact in the world to-day, as 
it was in Jesus' time. In that day men with their 
families could be cast in prison for debt. The 
legal system to-day does not permit this, unless 
fraudulent intention can be shown, and the im- 
prisonment even then is for fraud and not for the 
debt. Our laws now exempt not only the body of 
the debtor, but even his homestead. Unscrupu- 
lous men take advantage of these laws made in the 
interest of the personality of the debtor as superior 
to property rights and of the home as the basal 
unit of civilization. They take advantage of them 
to contract debts they know they can never meet. 
A retail merchant will out of his business con- 
struct a home or buy stocks in his wife's name in 
other businesses, and then fail. Such crookedness 
raises the cost of living for everybody, because the 
wholesaler expects each year to be " done " by a 
certain number after this fashion and puts an item 
in his rate of profit to safeguard himself. No 
Christian will either as an individual or in his busi- 
ness dealings make any debt he cannot reasonably 
expect to pay. His motto will be " owe no man 
anything." If perforce he must go in debt, he 
will do so with full intent to pay and with convic- 
tion that he will be able to do so. 

But there is one debt no man can pay, and he 
should be proud of his insolvency. He need never 
be ashamed of bankruptcy caused by this unpay- 
able debt. It is a debt peculiar to Christians. No 



DEEPEB YET 



191 



pagan faith, no philosophy of life, no organized 
institution of man ever contained in its principles 
such an item. Without this debt fully and freely 
acknowledged by the Christian his profession is a 
mere jargon of words. It is this obligation that 
welds the Christian men and women of the world 
into a unity. It is the cementing bond of Chris- 
tian brotherhood, the basic substance of social 
solidarity. Without this principle of the just and 
unpayable debt regnant in the hearts of men the 
Kingdom of God can never come. 

What is this debt and what is the source of its 
origin ? This unpayable debt is the love as Chris- 
tians we owe one another. " Owe no man any- 
thing," says Paul in Romans 13 : 8, " but to love 
one another/' Paul here places himself exactly 
in line with his Master's new commandment to 
His disciples, which we have already discussed as 
the thirteenth commandment, in which we are en- 
joined to love one another as He loved us. John 
had the same exalted opinion of love's place in the 
Kingdom, when he said, " We know that we have 
passed from death unto life, because we love the 
brethren." And Peter urges love as properly 
characterizing the brotherhood. " Love the broth- 
erhood," he says. Here is a limitation of the 
love-principle that does not measure up to the spa- 
cious sweep of John 3: 16 — "For God so loved 
the world." We dare not confine our obligation 
to love in any narrower bounds than those erected 



192 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



by our Father God. The world will never be won' 
by hatred. Love covers a multitude of sins with 
the charity of its devotion and it wins multitudes 
of sinners to the Saviour Who prompts the love. 
It is sometimes necessary to speak condemnation 
for certain lines of conduct, but what most readily 
wins men is to find something in them to love. 
" There is so much good in the worst of us and so 
much bad in the best of us that it hardly behooves 
any of us to talk about the rest of us/' says a fa- 
mous motto. I have never failed to get a brother 
to do better if I could find something good in him 
to start with and honestly point it out to him. 
Nagging, whether in the home or social relations 
or the pulpit, never produced much good. Love, 
that is the magic word, love lifts us all to higher 
ground and strengthens us to hold the advance 
position. It is the greatest propelling force in the 
world. Just to know that somebody cares, that 
you are loved, that stirs us to our noblest en- 
deavour. What will a man not do for love ! 

And the origin of this obligation, this debt we 
can never pay? Is it not found in the love of God 
for us? "Herein is love," says the beloved dis- 
ciple, " not that we loved God, but that He loved 
us," and again, " We love Him, because He first 
loved us," and still again, "Beloved, if God so 
loved us, we ought also to love one another." 
This, then, is the source of our unpayable debt, the 
matchless love of God for us, revealed in the love 



DEEPEB YET 



193 



Jesus exemplified for us. God never ceases to 
love us. We alienate ourselves from Him and 
cease to love Him, but He is ever ready to take us 
back and to reconcile us to Himself. Ought we 
not to do likewise for our brotherman? Can we 
ever hate any man and be Christians? 

What gain for the Kingdom there is in this un- 
payable debt! It reconciles to God. It wins ad- 
herents to Christ. It takes the bitterness and 
jealousy and heartache out of life. It will even- 
tually bring all the followers of Christ into that 
oneness for which He prayed. And the paradox 
of it all is that the more earnestly we endeavour to 
discharge this obligation the larger it grows. But 
we grow with it, and the heart understands and is 
glad. 

III. Looking Upward 

" I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from 
whence cometh my help," says the King James 
version in translating the One Hundred and Twen- 
ty-first Psalm. There is a tradition that the hills 
produce strong, virile manhood and womanhood. 
This idea was prevalent in Judea, and Jerusalem 
was chosen as the seat of the Jewish government 
because of its situation among the hills, which of- 
fered natural protection and safety from ready in- 
vasion. It was very natural that the Psalmist 
king should look out to the hills and consider their 
place in his country's strength. 

But David was a keen-visioned man, and it is a 



194 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



pity that the translators missed the real heart of 
the utterance in this psalm. The proper transla- 
tion here is, " I will lift up mine eyes unto the 
hills," the hills in their majesty towering over the 
plain, affording security to any nation, great hills, 
friendly hills. As the Psalmist king thus viewed 
the landscape, he fell into meditative mood, and 
asked himself the question, " Whence cometh my 
help ? " This point is wholly missed in the Au- 
thorized Version, which makes him say that his 
help comes from the hills. " Whence cometh my 
help ? " he inquires. Whence ? From these hills, 
stretching out in majestic mass before me? 
" Nay, not so," we hear him declare, " my help 
cometh from the Lord." With this sentiment of 
the Psalmist we most heartily agree. Our help 
cometh from the Lord. We must look to Him; 
we must look up to Him. 

And yet — and yet our upward look is condi- 
tioned on our attitude to our brothermen. Our 
spiritual vision can ascend no higher upon the per- 
pendicular, that is, toward God, than it goes out 
on the horizontal, that is, toward our brothermen. 
If we do not love our brothermen whom we have 
seen, how can we love God whom we have not 
seen ? 

What is religion, anyway? Is it a personal re- 
lation between God and the individual human soul ? 
Is it completely to be comprehended by looking up 
to God and being conscious of His presence and of 



DEEPEE YET 



195 



His love for us? There are those who think so. 
The Church for a long time thought so. Accord- 
ing to this view, religion is a sort of paid-up life- 
insurance policy, a sort of through ticket to 
Heaven with Pullman and dining-car privileges all 
arranged in advance, a sort of fire-escape to keep 
the believer out of Hell. This view of religion 
fixes its eye on the measureless worth of the soul. 
" What is a man profited," it asks, " if he gains the 
whole world and loses his own soul ? " Jesus 
taught the value of the soul. The defect in this 
view is that it forgets that there are other souls 
just as valuable as my soul and just as dear to 
Jesus. 

The personal view of religion is not wholly sat- 
isfying. Religion is more than a personal rela- 
tion of the individual soul to God. It is this, but 
it is more. It must, to be pure and undefiled be- 
fore God the Father, we have seen, include our re- 
lation also ~ to our brothermen. Religion is not 
represented by the perpendicular line extending 
straight up from my soul to God. It is triangular, 
extending from my soul to God, from my soul to 
my brothermen, from them to God. Along the 
sides of this triangle the saving influences of the 
spiritual life may safely travel. 

Religion is unselfishness; I mean, of course, the 
Christian religion. It is love, a social passion, or 
it is nothing. Any attempt to approach God in 
isolation is futile. Jesus came, let us say it again, 



196 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



not to save me, but to save me as the means of 
saving some one else. We cannot enjoy our re- 
ligion alone. Any attempt to use it for self alone 
will result in its dissipation and loss. It is a pass- 
port to service. It is an admission to the forest 
of life, where trees are to be felled, roads con- 
structed, farms laid out, homes erected, and the 
work of the Kingdom progressively and devotedly 
undertaken. 

It is more than good Samaritanism, good as 
that was. It will aid the man fallen among 
thieves. But it will also punish thieves, aiming to 
win the thieves so punished to right relations with 
their brothermen. The religious man will recog- 
nize his brotherhood with the thieves and outcasts 
of society. What right have we to punish evil- 
doers, anyway? Not because they deserve pun- 
ishment. " Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith 
the Lord." What right, then, have we to punish 
evil-doers? That we may win them to brother- 
hood's standards again. Reformation, not venge- 
ance, is the only ground for courts, juries, jails, 
and penitentiaries. Our brothers in bonds are our 
brothers still; and we owe them the ministry of 
reclamation, of reconciliation, of love. 

But our subject is " looking upward." Let us 
resolve to do it in the only way we can, by looking 
out toward our brothermen while we look up to- 
ward God. In this way only can we go " deeper 
yet " into the rich, full experience of the Christian 
life. 



XIII 



SOME DOCTRINES RE-DEFINED 

I. Faith 

WE are "justified by faith." "Faith 
without works is dead." What is 
faith ? " Faith is the substance of 
things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 

Is faith the equivalent of belief? The intel- 
lectual assent to a body of creedal doctrines — is 
that faith? Does that have saving power? " Be- 
lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be 
saved." " The devils believe and tremble," but 
they are devils still. Are we justified by believing 
certain historic and doctrinal facts? Such faith 
is dead ; we are not and cannot be justified by such 
faith. The more credulous, the more superstitious 
according to such a view a man might be, the more 
sure would he be of salvation. The more intel- 
lectually sluggish and mentally lethargic such 
faith would teach us a man might be, the more 
Christian would be his life. Can we accept this 
interpretation? James would not, though it had 
already appeared in the Church in his day. Paul 
had said " we are justified by faith " and lazy 

197 



198 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



Christians, lovers of ease in Zion, had interpreted 
Paul's statement to mean, we are saved by intel- 
lectually assenting to certain revealed or historic 
dogmas. How easy! How rather subversive of 
true faith! 

Again let me ask, what is faith ? The writer in 
Hebrews essays a definition which has been a rich 
mine of speculation for the translators. I have 
read them all, I hope. I have read none that more 
nearly expresses the force of the original than the 
King James version. " Faith is the substance of 
things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 
This is a very different concept from intellectual 
assent to a body of doctrine. This sort of faith 
is not static sit-up-and-sit-ism. It is an energizing 
life-principle that knows no insurmountable ob- 
stacles athwart the path of Christian progress. 
Such faith subdues kingdoms, works righteous- 
ness, obtains promises, stops the mouths of lions, 
quenches the violence of fire, escapes the edge of 
the sword, out of weakness is made strong, waxes 
valiant in fight, and turns to flight the armies of 
the aliens. Those who are energized by such faith 
are ready to be stoned, to be sawn asunder, to be 
slain with the sword, to wander about in sheep- 
skins and goat-skins, to be destitute, afflicted, tor- 
mented — such is the vitalizing self -abandon to 
which their faith has led them. It always does 
this when it is Christian faith. 

"The substance of things hoped for" — how 



SOME DOCTKINES EE-DEFINED 199 



beautiful! With our entrance into the fellowship 
of Christ, we accept His program for the indi- 
vidual and the Church. We look out upon a world 
sadly below the standard of redemption He has 
set for it. We become discouraged, disheartened, 
pessimistic? Never — we have faith and that 
faith is for us " the substance of things hoped 
for/' and we go forth to undertake to make those 
things real because we are already possessed with 
their substance. Take an illustration from pro- 
hibition in America. Surely the victory we now 
enjoy is the result of the faith of Frances E. 
Willard and of the host who followed in her train 
with ever increasing faith, which was the sub- 
stance of the thing they hoped f or ! It is so with 
reference to every moral and spiritual achievement 
of the race. Faith is the substance of things 
hoped for, their reality, and without it no progress 
would ever bless mankind. Without it a deadly 
lethargy like a siren charm would numb the con- 
science into stolid incapacity to react favourably 
toward any wholesome stimulus. Without the 
faith that is the substance of things hoped for, 
Christianity would revert to fatalism and the day- 
star of human progress forever set. 

" The evidence of things not seen " — again how 
beautiful! This faith which is the substance of 
things hoped for is the evidence that these things, 
now not seen, will be seen. Such faith the dis- 
ciples had, else they would never have accepted 



200 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



that amazing commission to go into all the world 
and preach the gospel to every creature. The 
faith then, in addition to being the substance of 
the things they hoped for, was to them likewise 
the evidence, the proof, that those things should 
in some happy day be real and seen. Such faith 
inspires the missionary program of the Church to- 
day and sends men and women into the dark and 
trackless recesses of the earth as the torch-bear- 
ers of the Christ. To all these their faith is the 
evidence that things not now seen will yet be seen. 
Every Christian whose faith has nerved him to 
undertake any crusade for righteousness knows 
the verity of this energizing life-principle, and 
what is more, the comfort of it, and what is still 
more, its unconquerable inspiration. 

Belief on Him is more than assenting to certain 
theological tenets, though these have their im- 
portant place in making faith possible. Christian 
faith is the acceptance of the program of Jesus, 
and this program once accepted sends its cham- 
pions forth to great and mighty conquest for Him, 
confident in that faith, which is not content with 
assenting to certain truths, but which is energetic 
because inspired by " the substance of things 
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 

II. Prayer 
" In the morning, rising up a great while before 
day, He went out, and departed into a solitary 



SOME DOCTEINES EE-DEFINED 201 



place, and there prayed." " He went out into the 
mountain to pray: and He continued all night in 
prayer." It was thus characteristic of our Master 
to renew His strength for the crises of His life by 
copious communion with His Father and ours. 
He needed to pray for the very same reasons that 
we need to pray, and He received from the exer- 
cise of that privilege the very same blessings 
which we ourselves receive. He was tempted in 
all points, as we are, yet without sin. He com- 
mands us to be perfect. Jesus was given no ad- 
vantage in His earthly life over us, for if He had 
been thus advantaged, He would be no true ex- 
ample to us nor could He sympathize with our in- 
firmities. What He accomplished as a man, it is 
our privilege, too, to accomplish. He could not 
have lived the life He did without prayer, and we 
shall greatly profit by His example. 

But what is prayer? It is the respect we owe 
our Heavenly Father, say some. I once heard a 
man assert he would feel disgraced if he did not 
each morning and night at least greet the members 
of his family, " and so I would feel if I did not 
pray at least morning and night," he continued. 
This brother was devout in life and purpose. 
" Pray without ceasing," we are enjoined. 
" Evening and morning and at noon will I pray," 
cried the Psalmist. Is prayer just politeness to 
God? What is prayer? 

" Lord, teach us to pray," pleaded the disciples. 



202 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



"And He taught them." We shall better learn 
what prayer is from the example He set us than 
from any other method, though an examination of 
Jesus' own prayers would throw additional light 
on our quest for the proper content of this very 
precious privilege of the Christian life. 

" Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be 
Thy name." Prayer is adoration, worship, recog- 
nition of the tender relationship existing between 
God and ourselves, including in the concept of 
ourselves, our brothermen. There is a place for 
personal concepts of religion, as set forth in the 
Twenty-third Psalm. For testimony, for confes- 
sion of sin, we are justified in being narrowly 
personal in our approach to Cod, but in prayer 
God wants us to be broad and inclusive and frater- 
nal in our adoration of Him. 

*' Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on 
earth as it is in Heaven." Prayer relates us to 
the program of God for the world. We are to 
be interested in His Kingdom's coming, which we 
are to understand is the doing of His will on earth 
as it is done in Heaven. Jesus in the Garden 
prayed for the passing of the cup, but always with 
the qualifying thought that His Father's will, not 
His, should be done. It is not prayer unless we 
are willing to leave the decision of the matter to 
God. Nothing more reveals the breakdown of the 
German character than the onslaught of many of 
their national leaders on Christianity on the 



SOME DOCTBINES BE-DEFINED 203 



ground that it made man a puppet by subjecting 
his will to God. The Christian ceases to be a 
Christian when he opposes his will to God's. 

" Give us this day our daily bread." We are 
glad this is in the model prayer, but note it is " our 
daily bread." God is interested in our physical 
life, but it is the physical life of us all. We can- 
not pray, and not be willing to share with stricken 
Europeans and Asiatics in their affliction the daily 
bread that God says is "not mine, but ours." 
This applies even to the Hun. "If thine enemy 
hunger, feed him." 

" And forgive us our debts (trespasses) as we 
forgive our debtors (those who trespass against 
us)." It really takes both versions to express the 
thought. A debt now is not what it was in those 
days. The word in the original means not only 
wrong done us, but equally the good that should 
have been done us, and vice versa. We cannot 
pray unless we have forgiven the wrongs others 
have done us and the favours they failed to show 
us and which were due, whether they seek for- 
giveness or not. Here again we find we cannot 
establish relationship with God until our relation- 
ships toward our brothermen are so far as we are 
concerned satisfactory to Him. 

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver 
us from evil." Prayer recognizes our weakness, 
our dependence, our inability to save ourselves. 
We do not in prayer thank God for making us 



204 THE CHUBCH IN THE PEESENT CRISIS 



good and strong. We beseech Him for more 
strength and to keep us from situations that would 
crush us. Yet even here it is a social petition, 
and likewise a trust that He will give us victory 
in any hour of trial. 

"For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, 
and the glory, forever." And so we end where we 
began by recognizing the sovereignty and power 
and majesty of our Heavenly Father, but crowded 
in between these two ascriptions calling for our 
adoration and worship and recognition of His 
power are petitions for the progressive realization 
of that brotherhood of the race which is the bur- 
den of the Master's message and life. Prayer is 
conditioned on our living in the atmosphere of 
God's Fatherhood and of man's brotherhood, the 
atmosphere of spiritual democracy. 

Is it worth while to pray? The testimony of 
those whose lives have most profited their brother- 
men admits no hesitation. It does pay to pray. 
It not only pays, but it is essential to the growth 
and development of the spiritual man. Prayer is 
the equalizing principle of the Kingdom. Not all 
can give large sums of money, not all can deliver 
great sermons, but even the sick and afflicted can 
pray. Revivals have been brought to cold and in- 
different churches because some bed-ridden Chris- 
tian prayed to God for such a blessing. We are 
all equal in our privilege of prayer and interces- 
sion. Dare we neglect this privilege? Beloved, 



SOME DOCTRINES EE-DEFINED 205 



whatever you do, pray. More things are wrought 
by prayer than this world knows of or even im- 
agines. 

Having spoken of the potency of prayer, we 
may inquire if prayer is enough? Experience 
teaches that it is the beginning. We cannot do 
more than pray till we have prayed. " The ear- 
nest, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth 
much." The prayer obligation is not all of Chris- 
tian duty. But it is the earnest of a victorious 
program for the Kingdom. Men cannot pray for 
the Kingdom to come and mean it, without going 
forth to bring the Kingdom in through valiant, 
consecrated, sacrificial effort on its behalf. 
Therefore, let us pray. 

What we need just now is a recognition of the 
privilege of prayer and of its marvellous power to 
release spiritual forces. Then we need to practice 
it consistently and personally. Not a praying 
ministry, but a praying Church shall redeem the 
time and send men and women forth to take the 
world for Christ. Therefore, pray. 

III. Peace 
The recent titanic struggle, engaged in for the 
most part by Christian nations, has caused many 
an earnest disciple to examine anew his own heart 
and the teaching of Scripture as to the whole ques- 
tion of the use of force. Is war justifiable? 
When a scourge like the German cohorts threatens 



206 THE CHTJBCH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



to overthrow all that Christianity has brought the 
world, are Christians to be passive onlookers till 
their turn comes to be slaughtered? What did 
Jesus teach ? How did He act ? 

The Prince of Peace gave as His final legacy 
to His disciples this beautiful gem — " peace I 
leave with you, My peace I give unto you." He 
tells them on a previous occasion that they are to 
" have peace one with another." Still again He 
says : " Think not that I am come to send peace, 
but a sword." " There shall be wars and rumours 
of wars," we find Him teaching at another time. 
As to His own conduct, we find Him employing 
physical force twice in His cleansing of the tem- 
ple, and time and again He used that far subtler 
force, the public denunciation of wrong. His bit- 
ing characterization of the Pharisees stands un- 
rivalled for its incisiveness in the realm of invec- 
tive. Jesus evidently was no mollycoddle, no 
technical pacifist. 

Whence then came the idea that the Christian, 
following the example of Jesus, should embrace 
the doctrine of non-resistance? It came justifi- 
ably from the example of His crucifixion, and 
from His very evident teaching consistent there- 
with that the individual should suffer rather than 
employ force for his selfish advantage. It also 
came from a misunderstanding of two passages of 
Scripture. The first of these is Matthew 26: 52 
— " all they that take the sword shall perish by the 



SOME DOCTBINES EE DEFINED 207 



sword." This passage means two things — that 
we are not to use the sword for personal advan- 
tage and that aggressive warfare for Christians is 
never permissible. They who take up the sword, 
who are the aggressors in the use of violence, 
shall perish by the sword, even the sword of the 
righteous who have been forced against their will 
to take it up in defense of brotherman and right. 
The conviction that they were defenders of right 
and not aggressors made Germany's enemies in- 
vincible and won for them the sympathy of all. 

The second passage is contained in the song of 
the angelic host announcing His advent. " Peace 
on earth, good-will toward men," the King James 
version makes them sing. The concensus of 
scholarly opinion now is that this passage rightly 
rendered should read, " Peace on earth toward 
men of good-will," and this translation besides 
having the authority of the best manuscripts com- 
ports better with Christ's own teaching that He 
came " not to bring peace, but a sword," though 
it is also conceivable that the King James version 
may be justified as looking to the consummation 
of the Christian dispensation, when peace and 
good-will toward all men will have wrought their 
perfect work. There can be no peace for men 
without good-will on their part. It is useless to 
cry, " Peace, peace," says Jeremiah, " when there 
is no peace." We may will peace for all men, but 
they cannot enjoy it unless good-will has prepared 



208 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



their hearts for it. A militarist is never happy in 
the midst of peace. The boom of cannon, the roar 
of musketry, the air filled with poison gas or 
manceuvering airplanes — these are to him the 
sources of joy. There is no good-will in his heart, 
and peace is to him a weary monotony, the 
synonym of boredom. Wars will never end in the 
political arena nor strife and bitterness cease in 
private life till good-will thrills every heart, till 
the brotherhood of man has fully come. 

But there is one other comforting thought con- 
nected with this peace question which transcends 
all else in its satisfaction of soul. We find it in 
Philippians 4: 7 — "the peace of God, which pass- 
eth all understanding." This peace of God, Paul 
goes on to say, shall keep our hearts and minds 
through Christ Jesus, provided we are careful for 
nothing and in everything by prayer and supplica- 
tion with thanksgiving let our requests be made 
known to God. The reverent Christian knows 
this peace, this peace of God. He would not ex- 
change it for all the world of wealth, of fame, of 
scholarship, of power, of prestige, of any conceiv- 
able good. What a comfort it is! For whether 
he be sick or well, poverty-stricken or abounding 
in this world's goods, seated in an office or ready 
to go over the top into No-man's land, happy at 
home with his family or on a sinking ship in the 
midst of the ocean and no relief within a thousand 
miles, because of this peace, the Christian man is 



SOME DOCTRINES EE-DEFINED 209 

able to be calm and sure, calm and sure because 
he knows what awaits him in that unending life 
which is the goal of every Christian aspiration! 
Men not acquainted with this peace are unable to 
comprehend how the heroes of the faith have left 
all that other men hold most dear and gone to be the 
torch-bearers of Christian truth to the benighted 
races of the earth, many of them to be eaten by 
the people they sought to serve or to die of disease 
before they could see a single convert. To the 
laws of reason such conduct is foolishness. But 
this peace is not intellectually discerned. It must 
be experienced. Even the man who has experi- 
enced it cannot understand it, but he can enjoy it 
and he can earnestly desire that all men every- 
where should have it. The peace of God in the 
heart is the only hope of ultimate peace in the 
outward relations of man to man, of nation to na- 
tion. Peace treaties that are not essentially based 
on this peace, of God are but scraps of paper. His 
peace endures, and it satisfies. 

IV. Immortality 
Civilization has reversed man's way of looking 
at life and death. Primitive men could not un- 
derstand death. They early learned to differenti- 
ate between the body and the soul that inhabits it 
through the phenomena of dreams, trances, 
shadows, instances of suspended animation, acci- 
dental stunnings and the like. A man's body 



210 THE CHTJKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



would cease to breathe. After a few hours ot 
days, life would return. His spirit had gone on 
a journey, they readily concluded. Or if the spirit 
did not return, then it had found a more agreeable 
dwelling place. They simply could not understand 
how a man should die. With all our refinement, 
culture, learning, scholarship, science, religion, 
philosophy, metaphysics, — with all of these and 
the others, too, we have not solved the great prob-. 
lem of primitive men — Can the spirit die? 

We have reversed the question and speculated 
in regard to that about which he had not the 
slightest doubt, — Does a man have a spirit? I 
would much prefer to take my stand with the 
primitives rather than with the modernists on 
these issues. I know that I am different from my 
body. I know that the spirit within me rules this 
body of mine. I have studied my brothermen and 
the events of history; I am somewhat acquainted 
with science and philosophy; from what I have 
observed as well as from what I have experienced, 
I am absolutely sure man is a spirit. And with 
my primitive forebears I am persuaded that this 
spirit cannot die. The burden of proof is not on 
me, but on the other side. Till they demonstrate 
how a spirit can cease to be, I shall be happily 
sure I shall live forever. 

We get the finest assurance religiously respect- 
ing the sours immortality from the calm assump- 
tion of it by Christ and from His resurrection. 



SOME DOCTEINES EE-DEFINED 211 



The Old Testament has little to say directly about 
the matter, taking it for granted. It is a mistake 
therefore to say that the best the Old Testament 
can do is to raise a tantalizing question about it, 
as in Job 14: 14 — " If a man die, shall he live 
again ? " The whole atmosphere of the Old 
Testament pulsates with confidence in the never- 
ending life. Else what would mean the taking of 
Enoch? Else what would mean the teaching of 
God as a Rewarder which pervades like the fun- 
damental theme of a great oratorio the whole Old 
Testament? And even Job in the midst of his 
affliction and of his tormentors was able to answer 
his own question with these splendid words: " For 
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He 
shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and 
though after my skin worms destroy this body, 
yet in my flesh shall I see God " (Job 19: 25-26). 
What a man was this Job ! 

This same atmosphere permeates the New 
Testament, too. Jesus takes the eternal life for 
granted and makes it a central theme of His min- 
istry. Only once does He answer arguments 
against it and even that instance admits of no 
question in His mind as to the reality of the ever- 
lasting life. The Sadducees had come, you will 
recall, with their catch question, the Sadducees 
who were the intellectuals of that day. He 
listened to their query respectfully and then hum- 
bled their intellectual pride by calmly telling them 



212 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



that they greatly erred because they were ignorant 
of the Scriptures and of the power of God. We 
may say the same of the scientists and philoso- 
phers of our day who doubt the possibility of the 
immortal life and of the resurrection. They are 
ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of 
God. They are in a less defensible position than 
even the Sadducees were because they have the 
resurrection of Jesus in addition to the proofs the 
Sadducees had, and the resurrection of Jesus is 
the best attested event of history. To doubt it is 
to doubt all ability to prove a case by competent 
evidence. 

Those who doubt the immortality of the soul 
are poverty stricken in spirit. They deserve our 
pity and should have our earnest prayers. Their 
outlook must indeed be dismal, with certain death 
postponed at most but a few brief years and after- 
wards only dark oblivion. If there were no other 
ground for my confidence and hope, I would ac- 
cept the doctrine for the comfort it is to my own 
heart and to the hearts of those who are bereaved, 
being comforted further by the knowledge that 
should I be mistaken, those who ridicule me now 
for entertaining this hope in this life would not 
be able to trouble me further with their taunts. I 
would at least have had my joy here in contrast 
with their haunting doubts. 

Paul was entirely right in the emphasis he 
placed on this Christian teaching. There be some, 



BOME DOCTKINES KE-DEFINED 213 



devout and honest disciples, too, who differ with 
him and who say that it pays to be a Christian, 
if even for this life only. Paul heard that some 
of his Corinthian converts held a similar view, and 
here is what he wrote them: " Now if Christ be 
preached that He rose from the dead, how say 
some among you that there is no resurrection of 
the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the 
dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be 
not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your 
faith is also vain ... ye are yet in your sins. 
. . . If in this life only we have hope in 
Christ, we are of all men most miserable." With- 
out the reality of this article of the faith, preach- 
ing is vain, Christians are still in their sins and the 
most miserable of men. This is what Paul says, 
and Paul is right. 

This is not saying the Christian life is not 
worth-while even in this present world. It is, as 
every Christian knows. But the Christian faith 
challenges its adherents to undertake impossible 
(humanly speaking) crusades for it. It calls upon 
them to sacrifice even life itself for the cause. 
Will they accept these challenges? Some have 
and they have all alike cherished this precious 
hope. They would never have done it, had they 
not embraced this hope. When all Christians 
have made this uplifting truth central in their con- 
sciousness and in their program of life, the world 
will be set on fire with a mighty conflagration of 



214 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



Christian propaganda which shall never wane till 
every knee has bowed and every tongue confessed., 

V. The Divine Immanence 
Mystics and dreamers have so mystified the 
conscious presence of God in His world that the 
idea of the divine immanence has fallen into re- 
proach. Yet there is no doctrine of the faith 
more vital and no experience of the heart more in- 
spiring than this. We used to sing " God is in 
His Heaven; all's well with the world." We 
know now that God is present in His world and 
in some coming day all will be well with that 
world. 

We have gone a long way in our conception of 
God's presence with men from that naively de- 
scribing Him in Genesis as walking in the garden 
of Eden in the cool of the day. For the spiritual 
babyhood of the race such an anthropomorphic 
conception of the divine immanence was needful. 
Jesus taught that God is a spirit and is spiritually 
discerned. When He called out of the cloud to 
His Son during His earthly life, Jesus heard His 
Father's voice, but the bystanders declared it had 
thundered. They lacked spiritual discernment. 
So is it now. The voice of God is thunder to so 
many souls, to whom He yearns to speak a mes- 
sage, but they cannot hear. 

The divine immanence can easily pass over into 
pantheism, which is really a denial of God, for 



{ ' 

SCHXfE DOCTEINES BE-DEFIlsTED 215 

when God Is everything, He is nothing. Some 
Christians insist on such an interpretation of the 
omnipresence of God that they really make im- 
possible the personality of God, which in the 
Christian teaching is fundamental to the idea of 
the divine immanence. On the contrary others 
speak of entering into His presence to be achieved 
by certain peculiar methods and at certain specific 
times and places,, thus virtually denying the fact 
of His continual presence, which is also funda- 
mental to the doctrine. God is present every- 
where and He is always there, only we are not at 
all times and places conscious of Him. Would 
that we could always realize that we dwell in His 
presence ! Why ? 

Because His presence constantly realized sweet- 
ens our commonest tasks and out of them weaves 
ecstatic experiences. His presence constantly real- 
ized in the life transforms the most prosaic duties 
into occasions of worshipful communion with the 
Most High. In such a realization the washtub be- 
comes a cathedral, the plough handles the gateway 
to Heaven. How poor our lives are because we 
get so engrossed in the trivial pursuits of life that 
we forget He is near! How rich it is our privi- 
lege to make them ! 

Then again the realization of His constant 
presence ever has such purifying, uplifting, in- 
spiring influence over our conduct, our interests, 
our pursuits. How can we do wrong, conscious 



216 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



of His presence ? " Whatsoever ye do, do all to 
the glory of God," we are enjoined. Whether we 
sing or weep, whether we work or play, whether 
we pray or dig ditches, we shall do it to the glory 
of God, when we are conscious of His presence. 
The restraining possibilities of the divine imma- 
nence are marvellous. We must do right things 
only in His presence, and if the things we are 
doing are not right, the conscious realization of 
His presence will change us and so change them. 
The little girl who feigned sickness to keep from 
going to Sunday school was not wholly wrong in 
the manner of her reasoning. Her mother said, 
" Very well, dear, I will leave you here with 
God." " Oh, no," she replied, " if you are going 
to leave me with Him, I will go to Sunday 
school." We cannot undertake to fool God or to 
do evil in His presence. The Church should 
therefore proclaim in clarion tones this precious 
truth of the divine immanence. 

One of the tenderest utterances of Jesus is the 
passage in John where He tells His disciples they 
are His friends. Jesus came to reveal His Fa- 
ther, and so God is our Friend as well as our Fa- 
ther. Let us therefore not tremble at the thought 
of God's presence with us. Let us realize that 
God is present as Friend and that His heart's 
greatest desire is to help us live the best life pos- 
sible. He is present not to spy on us, though our 
misconduct grieves His heart, nor to seek oppor- 



SOME DOCTKINES EE-DEFINED 217 



tunity to bring us to judgment, for He is no su- 
pernal sheriff, but to befriend us, to lend us the 
helping hand wherever we grow weary and to lift 
us up and out of the slough when discouragement 
and despondency would settle down upon us in 
encircling gloom. The Divine Immanence and 
The Ever-present Friend — how precious the 
thought, how priceless the realization! In the in- 
spiring atmosphere of such holy relationship, all 
jealousy, all injustice, all hatred disappear as 
the mist before the rising sun, and love and sacri- 
fice and brotherhood crown life and all its in- 
stitutions. Where then will be industrial strife? 
Where social rivalry? Where international dis- 
trust and war? Where personal hatred and harsh 
judgment of others? They cannot exist in a 
world conscious of God's presence. Again then 
let us say the Church should proclaim in clarion 
tones this precious, this dynamic truth of the di- 
vine immanence. This restless age needs it, and 
it will restless be till it rests in Him. 

VI. The Last Judgment 
When men thought of God as a Judge and of 
man as deserving punishment and of Jesus as the 
price offered for our sins to an eternal Being 
Whose sense of justice had to be satisfied, it was 
easy to urge them to flee the wrath to come and 
to think how terrible a thing it would be to fall 
into the hands of the living God. So Bunyan's 



218 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



Pilgrim forgot all about his wife and family in 
his devout effort to save his own soul. Men 
trembled in those days and sought salvation. 

But to-day we think of God not as a Judge, 
but as our loving Heavenly Father, always loving 
us, grieved when we sin, anxious ever to forgive 
us and to reconcile us to Himself. We think of 
Jesus not as the price paid for our sins to a God 
Who otherwise would cast us all into outer dark- 
ness, but as the Revealer through His life and 
death of the love His Father and ours has always 
entertained for His children. God is love, and He 
is merciful, and will forgive. It is our duty, too, 
as well as our privilege to love our brotherman 
and to institute methods of reinstating them to 
proper relations with us when they sin against us. 
Courts of justice, jails and penitentiaries we have 
maintained should be regarded as a means by 
which criminals are to be restored to normal life 
and not as agencies of retribution for wrongs 
done. Crime is misdirected energy, we say, and 
while sin in our thought remains a transgression 
of the law, the sinner we suspect properly directed 
would not have sinned, and so we conclude either 
he should be freed or abundant mercy should be 
accorded to him. Can God be otherwise disposed 
toward us than we are toward each other, we ask? 
What then becomes of the last judgment? Shall 
we discard it? Is everlasting punishment com- 
patible with Christianity? 



SOME DOCTKINES EE-DEFINED 219 



Christian leaders to-day hesitate to give the 
doctrine of the last judgment the place it should 
have in the teaching of the Church. They hesi- 
tate for two reasons — the natural reaction that 
inevitably follows the overemphasis of any truth, 
and so humanly speaking they could not do other- 
wise than they are doing. And in the second 
place, they do not regard fear of punishment as 
the legitimate motive for men's being urged to 
enter the Kingdom. Religion is to them more 
than a scapegoat on which we may place the 
responsibility for the sins we have committed and 
send them away from us. It is more than a life- 
insurance policy with special provision for acci- 
dents and disabilities. It is the gateway to a life 
to be sought for its own worth and to be lived 
for the good it can do. Rewards always follow 
such a life, but the man who achieves them does 
not have his heart so much inspired by their de- 
sire as by the service he is rendering the cause he 
has espoused and loves. It is because the religion 
that emphasized fear of punishment led often to 
selfishness and allowed men who professed to be 
Christians to forget their brothermen or even 
their own families in the mad scramble for per- 
sonal safety that Christian leaders to-day prefer 
to win men to Christ by the drawing power of 
love. The old obituary notices with monotonous 
sameness declared each deceased adherent to have 
been a good man or a good woman. We want to 



220 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



know now what each was good for, and if each 
invested life for the common good. 

And so the doctrine of the last judgment can- 
not be abrogated. Jesus taught it as unequivo- 
cally as He taught the immortality of the soul and 
the duty to love one another. His whole program 
collapses if this teaching be denied. His parable 
of the Last Judgment is a priceless ingredient of 
the Christian faith. Men may argue that it is in- 
consistent with God's mercy not to give a man 
another chance, and so may provide for purga- 
tories. Jesus disposed of this in His parable of 
the Rich Man and Lazarus, where He has Abra- 
ham say that an impassable gulf is placed between 
the redeemed beggar and the lost millionaire, 
" so that they which would pass from hence to 
you cannot, but neither can they pass to us, that 
would come from thence." Sad, but true! 

The parable of the Ten Virgins, too, reinforces 
the same unyielding truth. Rightly understood 
this is a parable of the last judgment. The wise 
will go in with the Master after the general res- 
urrection, but the foolish cannot be admitted. 
They had their chance, and threw it away. It is 
true that God loves us and that we alienate our- 
selves from Him by our willful disobedience. It 
is also true that He is ever ready to forgive us and 
to reinstate us in His household. But it is equally 
true with us as with the prodigal son that we must 
arise and go to our Father and confess our sins, 



SOME DOCTBINES EE-DEFINED 221 



and it is also equally true that failure to do this 
will settle our eternal status in the life to come. 

But what if a man just cannot bring himself 
to believe this? Then he condemns himself. God 
will continue to love him, but is powerless to res- 
cue him from his fate against his will. It is there- 
fore right and inevitable that he should go to his 
self-appointed penalty, because he refused to ac- 
cept God's love and mercy, though the way of 
salvation is so plain that a wayfaring man though 
a fool need not err therein, and remember this was 
said by a layman prophet long years before Jesus 
came. The way is much plainer now. 

The fact that we are to be judged at the end 
of our earthly life and rewarded according to our 
deserts should inspire us to do our very best, not 
that we may escape punishment for our sins or 
receive a crown of righteousness with many stars 
studding it for our good deeds, but because we 
love God and are anxious that all our brothermen 
should know Him as the loving Father we have 
found Him to be. We will enjoy the crown, It is 
true, and rejoice to have missed the punishment 
sin would have brought us, but the greatest com- 
pensation will be that we are in His presence, re- 
deemed by His love and saved by His grace. And 
we cannot be happy unless our brothermen share 
our blessings. Thus does the doctrine of the last 
judgment make us missionaries of the Christ. 



XIV 



SOME FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTIONS 

RESTATED 

I. Creeds 

BEHOLD what schism the creeds have 
wrought ! Denominationalism thwarts 
the progress of the Kingdom on every 
hand. Protestantism has conceived the notion that 
the magnifying of differences is the way to get 
things done. Experience in every other depart- 
ment of activity proves that the very opposite is 
true. The minimizing of differences and the mag- 
nifying of agreements is the highway to achieve- 
ment. Blessed shall Protestantism be when it ap- 
propriates that truth and applies it in practice! 

Many centuries before the Reformation a great 
leader said — " In essentials, unity ; in non-essen- 
tials, liberty; in all things, charity." The Catholic 
Church emphasized the first phrase. They have 
achieved unity, but with the exclusion of liberty. 
Protestantism has achieved liberty at the expense 
of unity, and both churches have proceeded with- 
out giving due consideration to the crowning 
sentiment of the third phrase, charity or love. 
The insistence of the Protestant communions 

222 



SOME CONCEPTIONS BESTATED 223 



on liberty has given a false emphasis to the place 
of creeds in the Christian life. There are mil- 
lions of Protestants who earnestly believe that 
they are saved by their faith, meaning by faith 
not an energizing principle that sends men forth 
to do the impossible, but the intellectual accept- 
ance of a group of historical facts or cosmolog- 
ical doctrines. Far be it from us to depreciate the 
influence of a man's Christian convictions. They 
are fundamental to his living his Christian life. 
But let it be said once again and for all, that these 
convictions are mere scraps of paper so far as 
salvation is concerned unless they reorganize a 
man's life and drive him forth to do his Master's 
will. We have tried too long to bring the King- 
dom in through dogma and catechisms, with the 
accent unduly prolonged on the initial syllables. 

Denominationalism presupposes that there must 
be uniformity of creed before the work of the 
Kingdom can be done. Here again experience 
challenges the underlying philosophy that has re- 
sulted in the formation of the various sects. The 
word sect is odious, but it exactly expresses the 
thought, for it means " a portion," and the de- 
nominations exist to advocate and advance each 
its portion of truth. It would be the most laugh- 
able thing in the world to consider the zeal of the 
Churches for their own little corners of truth, 
were not the consequences to the Kingdom so 
tragic. 



224 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 

One other indictment we must bring against the 
idea of a formulated creed. It stifles growth in 
spiritual conception. Every generation or so the 
creeds have to be revised and long before they 
are revised, such action is imperatively needed. 
Even the most liberal churches of one generation 
become illiberal to another, and rightly so. Paul 
and James did not agree in their beliefs, nor did 
Peter and John, yet the early Church fellow- 
shipped them all. We have found that freedom 
of thought and speech is the birthright of every 
man in other realms of living, but the free-thinker 
in the Church is a heretic. I raise the question 
whether any other man than a free-thinker has 
any right in the Church. Jesus was a free-thinker 
and so should every humblest follower of His be. 
How we have misconstrued the passage in 1 Peter 
2: 15, where we are bidden to "be ready always 
to give an answer to every man that asketh you 
a reason of the hope that is in you " ! We have 
understood this to be the charter of sectarianism 
and special warrant to defend the peculiar views 
of our particular church. 

Many noble spirits like Emerson have left the 
ministry of the Church and many, too, like Lin- 
coln have remained outside of its membership, be- 
cause they would have felt compromised in its 
fellowship. Witness these words of Lincoln, who 
loved his fellowmen as perhaps no other of our 
presidents: "I have never united myself to any 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 225 



Church because I have found difficulty in giving 
my consent without mental reservation to the 
. . . statements of Christian doctrine which 
characterized their articles of belief and confes- 
sion of faith." Our own country has been the 
hotbed of denominationalism. We have more va- 
rieties of religious cults of the Christian type than 
all other nations put together. We say the Pil- 
grim Fathers came to this land to make possible 
religious freedom. But they were strict secta- 
rians and meant by their quest to obtain the right 
to erect a type of religious observance that would 
suit their conscience. Roger Williams was as 
much a persona non grata in Plymouth as the Pil- 
grims were in England. That spirit is still abroad 
in the land. We have now according to law toler- 
ation in religion, but lack appreciation in our 
hearts for those who differ with us, and practi- 
cally every denomination has its creedal tests for 
admission to its fellowship, tests that do violence 
to liberty and that would put men not articulating 
with these tests, should they accept their fellow- 
ship, in a false light before their fellows and in 
their own estimation. 

What then are we to do? We are to abandon 
creedal tests and bid each man to search the Scrip- 
tures for himself. We are to abandon the notion 
that conformity to doctrine can save men or that 
conformity in doctrine is necessary for church 
efficiency. We are boldly to announce that re- 



226 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



ligious toleration is not enough for brothers, but 
that there is also to be sincere appreciation of the 
view that a brother holds different from our own, 
but which he has been led of the Spirit honestly 
to espouse. This method is not only in accord- 
ance with Christ's own treatment of His disciples, 
but commends itself to our judgment and is con- 
firmed by experience in other departments of life. 
This method also will initiate the movement for 
the termination of our inexcusable denomination- 
alism. 

How then will members be received in the 
Church? On what basis? On the basis of their 
Christian character. Vital piety will be recog- 
nized as the only proper test of Christian fellow- 
ship or of church membership, creedal tests and 
ecclesiastical ordinances not barring any man nor 
even being proposed to him. This is according to 
Jesus, Who said " according to their fruits ye 
shall know them " and not according to their pro- 
fessed allegiance to certain doctrines or their 
ritualistic acts of regularity. In that day the 
Church will really and actually become what Jesus 
undoubtedly intended — the bulwark of freedom in 
the spirit of charity. It will guarantee to each 
and to all as the ineffaceable mark of discipleship, 
the right of private judgment and the liberty of 
conscience as the privilege and duty of all. 

But will there be no rule of faith and practice? 
Will the Christian be turned loose in the world 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 227 



to make a religion for himself? Not by any 
means. The Holy Bible is the rule of faith and 
practice, all-sufficient and worthy of all confidence. 
But no man shall undertake to interpret that Bible 
for another. Each member will formulate his 
own creed, based on the Word of God, and there 
will be as many creeds as there are real members. 
Such is the spiritual kingship and priesthood, to- 
ward which the members of Christ's Church look 
with hopeful eyes and unshaken confidence. 
Not a creed, but many creeds, and each member a 
creed-maker responsible to our Father God — such 
is the goal of the Christian program. 

II. Missions 

The Inter-Church World Movement in its For- 
eign Survey found that for the five-year period 
ten thousand new missionaries would be needed, 
three thousand five hundred of them the first year. 
The foreign missions enterprise of the churches is 
a magnificent crusade, both as to personnel and as 
to costliness. The motive that prompts it is the 
Master's " Go ye." But why did the Master give 
this commission? 

Because He came to save the whole world, not 
a small portion of it, but all of it. This brings 
up the whole question of Christianity's relation- 
ship to the non-Christian religions. What is that 
relationship? That relationship is in turn inex- 
tricably interwined with the origin of those re- 



228 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS \ 

ligions. How did they originate? There is an 
idea abroad that the Christian religion is divine 
and all others man-made. They are all alike 
divine and all alike man-made. Even Jesus 
was both divine and human. It is a difference of 
degree. God did not limit Himself in His revela- 
tion to one people. He spoke to any heart any- 
where that was ready and able to hear His voice. 
(See Acts 14: 15-17.) And those who heard gave 
such interpretation as they could to His message. 
One of those messages is Buddhism, another Zoro- 
astrianism, a third Mohammedanism, imperfect 
messages we agree, lacking in many needful quali- 
ties, permitting gigantic injustices and grossly 
immoral practices, because many things foreign to 
God's nature are included in them, yet leading 
their adherents toward Him, much nearer toward 
Him than they would be without them. 

These religions are related then to Christianity 
as the Hebrew religion is. Christianity is their 
fulfillment, just as the gospel fulfills the law and 
prophecy of the Jews. Jesus came to complete 
God's revelation. He came to the Hebrews be- 
cause they had been the better able to understand 
and express His Father's will and purpose and 
character. He would have gone as readily to the 
Japanese or the Romans as to Jews, had the facts 
in the case been different. 

The fierce opposition Jesus encountered among 
His people in His effort to fulfill their religious 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 229 



system is suggestion to us that the propagation of 
Christianity is not to be consummated without 
serious resistance. Prophecy tells us that the 
Jews will ultimately yield, but they are a long way 
from it after nineteen centuries. The non-Chris- 
tian religions do not welcome our faith and their 
leaders resent the methods of many of our mis- 
sionaries. To represent the non-Christian nations 
as imploring the gospel at our hands is to do 
violence to facts. 

In many cases our missionaries have centred 
their attention upon differences of social custom 
and held these practices up as indicating the de- 
grading influence of the religions of our brothers 
in other lands. How often have we been told 
about the child-widows, the seclusion of women, 
the binding of the feet, sacral harlotry, and the 
rest ! Our hearts sicken at these grim recitals, but 
we should be willing to recognize these things as 
happening in spite of the highest conceptions of 
these religions. We would not wish adherents of 
other faiths to formulate their conceptions of 
Christianity in terms of our lynching bees, of our 
tenement house situation, of our industrial sys- 
tem, of our extremes of riches and poverty, of our 
denominational jealousies, of our White Slave 
traffic. We know that these are inconsistent with 
our faith, and while the practices that nauseate us 
among the non-Christian peoples may not be so 
glaringly inconsistent with their religions as these 



230 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



and similar practices are with our own, it is a mat- 
ter of degree of inconsistency, due directly to the 
finer revelation that is ours of the Father's will. 

Our missionaries who have succeeded most in 
winning adherents among the non-Christian peo- 
ples have achieved their victories by presenting 
Christianity as a fulfillment of the indigenous 
faiths. Their method has been that of Paul at 
Mars Hill, presenting to them the God Whom 
they imperfectly and ignorantly worship. Dr. 
Tasaku Harada, President of Doshisha Univer- 
sity, in his " The Faith of Japan," laments the 
failure of the early missionaries to his country to 
proceed along this line. He fears, though he is 
himself a distinguished Christian, that Christian- 
ity's opportunity in Japan has been greatly less- 
ened by this failure and while he believes the 
truer, fuller faith will finally triumph there, it is 
his deliberate judgment that its ultimate accept- 
ance is postponed many centuries because of an 
ill-considered method of approach. 

One other question we must dispose of. If 
these adherents of the non-Christian religions are 
saved according to their faithfully living accord- 
ing to their present faiths (see Luke 12: 48 and 
Rom. 2; 11, 15), why should we endeavour to 
make them Christians? The answer is found in 
the brotherhood of mankind. We dare not un- 
dertake to keep any good thing we have to our- 
selves. Selfishness is the antithesis of the Chris- 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 231 



tian faith. There is no individual patent on sal- 
vation through Christ, nor is it limited to any 
race. If we love our brothers, we will wish to 
bring to their hearts and lives the joys that are 
ours. It is not merely a matter of their being 
saved: it is also a matter of the completeness and 
fullness of their salvation in this present life. 
Having experienced the larger light, as brothers 
to all men we cannot rest till they have seen it too. 
In this spirit we of the Christian army move for- 
ward in the grand crusade to lead all men to Him. 

III. Recreation 

There is no more hopeful sign in our day than 
the growing conviction that the Church is neces- 
sarily interested in all of life, even in the play, 
recreation, and amusement of the people. Time 
was when these items were looked upon as " secu- 
lar " and unrelated to the Church, something to be 
tolerated when kept within due bounds, but with 
never a thought of obligation on the part of the 
Church to promote them. As a consequence 
young men sowed wild oats (due to the total de- 
pravity of nature, as we were taught) and young 
ladies developed nerves (due to — what shall we 
say? — due to their naturally weaker physical 
frame, perhaps). 

Well, we know better now. We have ceased 
cur assaults on human nature. We have faced 
about and discovered that every case of sowing 



232 THE OHUEOH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



wild oats is attributable to improper direction of 
pre-adolescent life. It is not necessary to sow 
wild oats, since so many do not sow them. Like- 
wise girls have nerves, when they should have 
strong, vigorous constitutions for the very same 
reason. If girls had the freedom of action and 
access to the out-of-doors that the boys have al- 
ways had, they, too, would sow wild oats rather 
than develop nerves, if left to themselves as boys 
have been. Their confinement to the home and 
the indoor games and nerve-sapping social life to 
which custom has condemned them explains the 
difference between wild oats for men and nerves 
for women, as the curses of our unwillingness to 
provide for wholesome recreation as we should. 

Those of us who believe in the spiritual nature 
and profit of play properly directed rejoice in the 
fact that Jesus wrought His first miracle at a 
festive event (the most hilarious type of social 
conviviality of that day) and that in connection 
with this incident it is first recorded that " His 
disciples believed on Him." Toward the close of 
His ministry He draws an illustration from the 
children playing in the street. Jesus evidently 
found nothing to condemn in the life's hunger for 
play, recreation, and amusement. But both He 
and we will find much to condemn in the methods 
men have employed to satisfy that hunger. It is 
entirely legitimate for me, however, to raise this 
question; Have we the right to condemn the prac- 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 233 



tices we cannot approve unless we are willing to 
help provide methods of satisfaction we do ap- 
prove ? 

But objects some one, " when the heart is right, 
the methods of play, recreation, and amusement 
to which people resort will also be right." His- 
torically this is not demonstrable and it also for- 
gets that play can have and does have a tremen- 
dous influence in making the heart either right or 
wrong. The only means of play, recreation, or 
amusement open to some people are such that they 
cannot be good, even if they wanted to. We must 
not forget that the strongest appeal the Church 
can make to young people and children is through 
the "good times" we provide for them, and the 
appeal has larger force perhaps than we suspect 
even with adults. 

^ What an opportunity to serve a fundamental 
need of life, what a challenge to minister, thus 
presents itself to the Church! The Church should 
cooperate -with agencies already in the field and 
going, affiliating them with its regular Sunday 
school classes and other organizations wherever 
possible. This, because it is a very wholesome 
thing for a boy or girl to feel that the Church is 
actively interested in the things that serve the 
recreative impulses of life. If no such organi- 
zations as the Boy Scouts, the Camp-Fire Girls, 
the Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., and the like, are 
already on the ground, then the Church has open 



234 THE CHUEOH IN THE PBESENT CRISIS 



to it a splendid opportunity to enter in and supply 
the need, tying the work undertaken definitely to 
itself. A church that is not only open every day 
of the week, but that serves its community with a 
complete program — such a church will not hesitate 
to safeguard jealously the play, recreation, and 
amusement opportunities of its people. 

A serious question is presented in the matter of 
commercialized amusements. Vast sums of 
money are invested in motion pictures, dramatic 
troupes, circuses, carnivals, shows of various 
kinds, and many other means of pandering to the 
amusement of the people, with profit for the pro- 
moters as the end and aim. Vendors of these 
things oppose interference with their plans by im- 
practical preachers and by Christian laymen 
whom they consider religious cranks and fanatics. 
They claim they give the people what they want, 
and there is perhaps some truth in their conten- 
tion, because the people certainly patronize them, 
by the million. The Church, however, will never 
concede that because people want a thing they 
should have it. There is no doubt that terrible in- 
jury is wrought by these agencies and the Church 
must therefore as the guardian of the eternal des- 
tinies, intervene to minimize, if it cannot wholly 
eliminate, the objectionable and hurtful features. 
We may expect a powerful lobby, however, to op- 
pose any regulation we may seek, though for a 
Christian that is no reason for not undertaking 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 235 



such measures as commend themselves to reason 
and conscience. Care must be taken to keep the 
censors out of politics and at the same time to 
give them sufficient authority to make their de- 
cisions effective. Experience in dealing with this 
matter makes it clear that when the Christian 
people want regulation of commercialized amuse- 
ments and will supply the workers to see that the 
laws, after being enacted, are enforced, these 
amusements can be greatly purified and even made 
to serve the higher interests of the community. 

First, we must recognize the desire for recrea- 
tion and amusement as not a weakness, but a di- 
vine right of man, not as something to be con- 
ceded, but rather to be earnestly and willingly 
provided for. Second, we must accept the obli- 
gation of the Church to encourage agencies, activ- 
ities, and methods that will provide wholesome 
avenues of expression for this desire. Third, we 
must acknowledge it also to be the Church's duty 
to have all commercialized amusements placed un- 
der the strictest censorship possible, so as to make 
them agencies of upbuilding rather than of down- 
pulling, agencies of the moral and spiritual man.. 
In other words, the play, recreation, and amuse- 
ment impulse needs direction and supervision. 
Left to itself, it is capable of vast injury. Prop- 
erly safeguarded it is capable of equally vast con- 
tribution to the development of character. Wild 
oats will be sown and nerves wrecked till the 



236 THE CHUBCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



Church enters in and ministers here, as it is her 
divine privilege and prerogative to do. 

IV. Authority 

There must be authority somewhere in the 
realm of religion. Under the Jews it was the law, 
modified from time to time by the enlarging con- 
ceptions of the prophets. During the Christian 
era several ultimate sources have been recognized 
over more or less clearly defined areas. 

The Catholics rest their authority on a man, an 
infallible man, the pope. They have had no end of 
trouble with this dogma of the Church. The very 
fact that the doctrine of the Catholic Church has 
a history renders their position untenable. Their 
conceptions of religious truth have advanced 
somewhat in spite of the papal bulls and even a 
pope in more instances than one has recognized 
the fallibility of his predecessors. Intelligent 
Catholics will acknowledge the weakness of their 
position, but regard it as safe as any and so ac- 
quiesce in it. 

With the Protestant Reformation came the 
doctrine of the infallibility of the Bible. This 
position is held to-day by millions and not till 
recent historical investigation revealed how un- 
certain the text of the Sacred Writings is in 
many places and how the present canon of Scrip- 
ture was arrived at, was this position seriously 
questioned by the majority of reverent Protes- 



SOME CONCEPTIONS EESTATED 237 



tants. No man who has carefully looked into the 
issues involved could reasonably contend that the 
Bible as we have it is the proper final authority 
in our religious convictions. Immediately the 
question will be raised, Which Bible? The Cath- 
olic or Protestant? And which version of the 
many ? No book that has come to us through the 
various vicissitudes that have preserved our Bible 
can be accepted as the ultimate authority. As be- 
tween an infallible man and an infallible book, 
most men would choose the man, because there 
would be some chance to modify his position ; but 
with a book, none. 

Realizing the untenableness of this view some 
Protestant Communions have conferred on the 
highest Church court or judicatory the right of 
ultimately deciding all ecclesiastical and religious 
questions. The Episcopal Church for instance 
maintains that it is useless to inquire what was 
the original form of baptism. The Church in 
every age has " the keys " and can dispose of the 
matter, and beyond that point no one should un- 
dertake to inquire. This is far preferable to 
either the Catholic or the earlier Protestant view, 
since men compose the final court and men can be 
induced to change their positions in accordance 
with evidence or enlarging conceptions appealing 
to them as reasonable. These denominational 
courts, however, have done violence to minorities 
in every generation and assume without justifica- 



238 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



tion that no Christian should undertake to go be- 
hind their decisions to the practice of the Church 
in the beginning. 

Still another position we must examine — that 
of the local congregation as the ultimate author- 
ity. This is a view of a large section of Protes- 
tantism to-day, as for example, of that most rap- 
idly growing of all the denominations in our coun- 
try, the Disciples of Christ. So strong among 
the Disciples is the principle of local autonomy 
that no general representative organization has 
developed among them nor is there any likelihood 
that one can. The local congregation is self-de- 
termining from every standpoint, including the 
provision for ministers, and the only way they can 
do any cooperative denominational work is 
through voluntary incorporated boards supported 
by individuals of vision. Very clearly there 
would arise individuals among these people whose 
views would be different from the majority in a 
local church and so in those cases the liberty of 
conscience would be abridged. This form of 
ultimate authority is less likely, however, to 
offend the minority, because the people all live 
together and the membership of the local church 
is limited. It is, however, open to the same 
objection as that which obtains in the Episcopal 
Church. 

Is there then any ultimate authority in religion? 
Most assuredly. It is the individual conscience 



SOME CONCEPTIONS KESTATED 239 



Spirit-led and instructed, interpreting for itself 
the Word of God and honestly endeavouring to 
comprehend His will, using all the means avail- 
able in arriving at its decision, particularly the or- 
ganized Church, the concensus of Christian opin- 
ion, and the historic development of the faith. 
No other position is consistent with God as the 
respector of no person or with the kingship and 
priesthood of each believer. Will this not lead to 
all kinds of heresy? Have we then lost confidence 
in the Holy Spirit's trustworthiness? Have we 
the right to decide the conditions under which our 
brother will relate himself to God? Who is 
proper judge of a man's servant? Is it not his 
own master before whose arbitrament he stands 
or falls? And Who is my Master? Is it not 
Christ? Who then can essay to take His place in 
determining for me in any particular my relation- 
ship to Him? 

What then will be the need of the Church? It 
will be a voluntary organization of Christ's fol- 
lowers that they may the more efficiently express 
His will and the more readily promote His pro- 
gram in the world. Whether it be episcopal, dele- 
gated, representative, democratic, or what not in 
organization will be a matter of small moment, 
since it will receive in any case its powers from 
the voluntary consent of its members and will ex- 
ercise no ultimate authority over their directly in- 
dividual relationship to God. And a Church so 



240 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



constituted will ultimately prevail over the world 
and Hell. 

No man, no book, no Church judicatory, no 
local congregation can be for me as a child of 
God an ultimate authority. The Kingdom of God 
is within me. My own conscience is the only au- 
thority I can ever acknowledge as ultimate. So 
long as God's Holy Spirit speaks to men we need 
never fear the consequences of the supreme dig- 
nity and worth thus conferred upon personality. 
To deny here is to nullify the whole revelation of 
God's will as it is written in the Scriptures and 
in the hearts of men. 



XV 

CHRIST, OUR SUFFICIENCY 

NOTHING is truer than that action is al- 
ways followed by reaction. This axiom 
was long ago taught by the Nazarene in 
His Sermon on the Mount, when He said, " With 
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you 
again." Isaac Newton, centuries later, saw the 
same law operating in the physical world. He 
stated it differently, but the meaning is the same. 
"Action is equal to reaction " is physics for 
Christ's religious principle. We must not be sur- 
prised then and we must not lose heart if now we 
find a decided reaction from the high idealism of 
the years 1917-1918. In those fateful days we 
were ready to lay all we had on the altar of hu- 
manity. Altruism and sacrifice through service 
were the engrossing impulses of the individual and 
the national life. There had to be reaction from 
those high conceptions, come so suddenly to men, 
and in the trough of the slump we find ourselves 
struggling to-day. How shall we emerge? 



I. The Problems of the Present Crisis 

But first let us look once more at the problems 
241 



242 THE CHUEOH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



that this reaction has brought us. Internationally 
we are in a very awkward situation. We helped 
defeat the ambitions of the Kaiser and dictated the 
terms of the peace, yet we are not party to the 
compact and were for nearly three years after 
the armistice technically at war with the Ger- 
man Republic. We have been gloriously incon- 
sistent, many think, in our professions of friend- 
ship and desire for cooperation with other nations 
and in our practice in refusing to ratify the treaty 
of Versailles. From lofty sentiments of interna- 
tional brotherhood and good-will we have de- 
scended, they say, to a conception of "America for 
Americans " that would do justice to a nation that 
considered itself the chosen people of God. From 
willingness to help the world in its heart-hunger 
for cooperation we have asserted our purpose pre- 
sumably to be to make the most of our natural ad- 
vantages and resources of culture and spirit, with- 
out allying ourselves with other nations in the 
common effort to improve the universal interests 
of all men. Other nations, with the exception of 
Mexico, Turkey, Germany, and ourselves, regard 
the League of Nations as a very feasible means of 
ending war. We fear our sovereignty will be 
curtailed to enter the League of Nations and so 
become the disturber of the peace of the world, we 
the nation that has loved peace and for the most 
part consistently pursued it throughout all our his- 
tory. We want our Monroe Doctrine for the 



CHEIST, OUE SUFFICIENCY 243 



Western Continents, but object to the same doc- 
trine for the world as a whole. Those of us who 
object to these sentiments have reached our con- 
clusions not as political thinkers, but as Christians. 
The fact that the popular vote has seemingly en- 
dorsed the view opposite to ours does not alter our 
conviction that our positions from the Christian 
view-point are right and destined ultimately to 
prevail. The impartial historian of the future, we 
think, will pause long and bewildered at the situa- 
tion of America internationally at this critical time 
in world history. 

Industrially, too, America's plight is most un- 
enviable. Many captains of history have their 
whole thought fastened on profits. They regard 
labour as hostile essentially and inevitably to cap- 
ital. The principle of the closed shop they strenu- 
ously oppose on the ground that it violates a fun- 
damental right of the constitution, the freedom of 
contract, forgetting, say the labouring men, that 
there can be no freedom of contract where the 
contracting parties are unequal. Many industrial 
barons will not even confer with the representa- 
tives of labour on any issue. Labouring men, on 
the other hand, are determined to organize, to 
force the closed shop, and to raise their wages to 
the highest point possible. Both sides realize the 
tension of the times and both sides, except in some 
outshining instances, are prepared for the trial 
that shall test their relative strength. Selfishness 



244 THE CHUBCH IN THE PEESENT OEISIS 



reigns in both camps, and confidence to win is 
professed. It is a grim, uncanny situation. 

The race question, too, is far from settled. The 
best men of both races are tolerant and apprecia- 
tive of each other, but the rank and file are suspi- 
cious and distrustful. At any moment some radi- 
cal may appear who will inflame the passion of the 
masses and a deadly conflict be precipitated. The 
black man feels that his service in the war justifies 
his claim to equal opportunity as a man to achieve 
a career. The white man is determined to hold 
the darker race in due bounds. We have not seen 
the end of lynchings and race riots yet, we fear. 

Education, too, is in a sorry plight. Ever since 
the days of Horace Mann we have been seriously 
engaged in constructing our public school system 
for universal education. Yet the number of illit- 
erates is greater in America to-day than ever be- 
fore. The selective draft revealed us to ourselves 
not only in the realm of social sin, but education- 
ally too. We must pay our teachers better and 
make it possible for even the poorest child to have 
educational opportunities. Merely passing a com- 
pulsory attendance law will not be ample. Illit- 
eracy and universal suffrage will destroy democ- 
racy. An intelligent electorate is fundamental to 
the perpetuity of civil and political liberty. 

And then there is the allied problem of religious 
education. Lincoln said this nation could not en- 
dure one part free and another enslaved. We 



CHEIST, OUE SUFFICIENCY 245 



are beginning to realize that it cannot continue 
free one part Christian and another pagan. Spiri- 
tual illiteracy is, as has been most expressively 
said, the forerunner of moral bankruptcy and na- 
tional decay. It is useless to enlighten men's 
minds while their hearts and consciences remain 
benighted. We know now that every claim that 
has been made for Christian education has been 
justified and vindicated too sadly in the catas- 
trophic breakdown of the German national charac- 
ter. The disaster to democratic government from 
a loss of moral stamina will be even more certain 
than in an autocratic country such as Germany 
was. We must construct, as we have seen, a sys- 
tem of religious education paralleling the public 
school system in order to save our nation from 
spiritual and moral decay. There is no problem 
more pressing to-day than this and none with more 
ominous consequences to the woe or welfare of the 
nation. 

The spirit of sectarianism during the war period 
for the most part subsided. Only here and there 
did bigotry obtrude itself in those direful days, but 
it was smouldering underneath the surface of 
things, ready on the first occasion to burst forth 
into flame. We have now a situation in our coun- 
try the most unique in Christian history — a long- 
ing desire for a broader and fuller fellowship with 
determination to strengthen the denominational 
lines at the same time. The stupendous sums of 



246 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



money that were raised and are being raised in the 
various " forward movement " drives of the re- 
spective denominations have brought a new sense 
of power and a new sense likewise of denomina- 
tional self-consciousness. Great wisdom and un- 
bounded love will be needful if these very denomi- 
national achievements are not to prove a back-set 
to the growing sentiment for Christian union. Is 
the collapse of the Inter-Church World Movement 
to be partly attributed to denominational aloofness 
and jealousy? There is no doubt here is found a 
problem whose solution calls for the wisest states- 
manship. 

The evident decline in vital interest in religion 
is likewise cause for alarm. The theological semi- 
naries are sadly depleted in attendance. The year 
1919 witnessed a net loss in Protestant Church 
members of more than one hundred thousand. 
While the gain during 1920 was more than six 
hundred thousand, there was still a loss in number 
of churches and in ministers, and attendance on 
worship is at a low ebb the nation over. Sad is 
the spiritual plight of any people when Church 
membership increases and Church attendance de- 
clines. We must find the way to make the Church 
the chief concern of men. Note I say we must 
find it, for no nation has yet been able to sur- 
vive the permanent loss of vital concern for 
religion. 

Many other foreboding signs threaten to mar 



CHRIST, OUR SUFFICIENCY 247 



the horizon of our day. There is not time to cata- 
logue them now. Let us mention one other — the 
crisis in the missionary work of the Church. We 
must, we have seen, immediately find more than 
three thousand new workers and within five years 
ten thousand will be needed. The peoples of the 
non-Christian lands are becoming imbued with our 
Western civilization, but they will need the ideals 
of the Christian life to sustain them in making it 
a force for good rather than of destruction of the 
character they have already achieved. In order to 
win them to the standards of the Christian faith 
we shall need to examine carefully the influence 
of denominationalism in mission fields and revise 
in many instances our whole method of approach 
to their evangelization. The world is not won to 
Jesus yet. The task, rather the opportunity, is 
gigantic, but far from hopeless. It challenges us 
now as never before to find the essential heart of 
the Christian program and to present it so that its 
acceptance will be ready and inevitable. It is es- 
pecially imperative immediately to win Japan and 
China, for as these nations go, eventually the 
world will go. 

II. Foursquare Leaders Demanded 

ow shall we emerge from a situation such as 
this? 

We must have leaders, clear-visioned, percep- 
tive, sympathetic, brave to undertake the measures 



248 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



needful for redeeming the times. Eyes to see, 
ears to hear, hearts to understand, wills to go for- 
ward — these are the equipment of the leaders who 
shall bring us safely through the baffling emer- 
gency that now threatens to engulf civilization. 
Foursquare and unafraid must they be. 

The times, we said, call for men of vision, men 
of insight and discernment, who will be able to 
penetrate with unerring accuracy the darkness and 
confusion of the problems that challenge us on 
every hand. And what will they see? Will they 
see the world about to return to sordid national- 
ism? Industry armed for civil war? Races un- 
able to be reconciled except with each other's 
blood? Education on that universal scale uncon- 
ditionally necessary to democracy a fatuous dream 
as yet? The religious nurture of the people a 
haunting mirage? The spirit of sectarianism tri- 
umphing over the spirit of brotherhood and love? 
The evangelization of the world an ill-conceived 
and impossible crusade of impractical fanatics? 
Not so. These leaders of vision, these men of in- 
sight, of discernment, will examine dispassionately 
these tumultuous issues and will look through the 
surging turmoil they have occasioned to the under- 
lying cause. Their keen eyes will penetrate the 
veil that surrounds these problems and focus their 
discernment upon the central reason for what we 
see on the surface. And then they will look back 
to the origin of these things, and they will under- 



CHEIST, QUE SUFFICIENCY 249 



stand that two antiphonal systems are in deadly 
conflict now, the one the system that maintains 
that privileged classes should lord it over the un- 
privileged, the other the system that exalts every 
man into sovereign relation to his own spirit. 
Seeing the origin, perceiving the issues at stake, 
these leaders can shape the plan of campaign that 
will bring victory to the right. 

But they will need ears, too, these men will. 
There are voices to-day never heard before, crying 
in the night, crying for recognition, demanding to 
be heard. These leaders will hear them. There 
are the voices of fatherless babes in Belgium and 
France and Germany, crying without comfort and 
with no voice but a cry, the import of whose piti- 
less wailing is to make forever impossible of recur- 
rence that horrible, dastardly thing which bereft 
them of parental guidance and care. Reinforcing 
that cry is the pleading heart of mankind crying 
out for the end of war in the interest of human 
brotherhood. There is Russia, restrained and op- 
pressed through long centuries, suddenly liberated, 
crying for help, knowing not how to use her free- 
dom, never having known it before. Certainly 
she has made false steps. Every babe in learning 
to walk falls to the floor many times. The Rus- 
sian government is in its days of infancy now. It 
is no sign of superior wisdom to point out its 
weaknesses. It is proof of great-heartedness to 
lend assistance till it can care for itself. Industry 



250 THE CHUECH IN THE PBESENT CEISIS 



in all lands, not simply in America, is resonant 
with voices calling for readjustment of working 
conditions and for the application of that democ- 
racy to which men have committed themselves in 
political life to the problems of the working world, 
no rise of the proletariat this, but the struggling 
upward of the spirit of man for expression of per- 
sonality. There are voices of prophets in the 
world to-day, prophets of race, of education, of 
religion, prophets that plead for measures and 
principles that promise opportunity for this ex- 
pression of personality. The leaders competent 
for a day like this will hear these voices not like a 
second Babel, but as harmonizing in their primal 
impulse, an impulse expressive of the deepest long- 
ings of the heart. The unrest everywhere in life, 
the unrest that is our universal characteristic, these 
leaders will perceive to be the outcry of a free 
spirit imprisoned and struggling for release. The 
voices arise from many sources, but the attentive 
ear is able to perceive the unison of their plaintive 
tones and to harmonize their raucous discord. 

These leaders, too, must have sympathetic 
hearts. There is to be no condescension, no Phari- 
seeism in their attitude, no maukish sentimentality. 
The conditions that they see, the voices they hear, 
they are to recognize as existing for very personal 
reasons and as deserving sympathetic approach. 
Sympathy is the greatest power we can exert with 
reference to another, sympathy which is the ability 



CHEIST, OUE SUFFICIENCY 251 



to identify ourselves with our brothers and inter- 
pret their hearts' longings as if they were our very 
own, nay, to make them our very own. Leaders 
must love in order to sympathize. No other type 
of leadership can avail in the crisis that now con- 
fronts us. Seeing the conditions of men and 
hearing their voices will only embitter their souls, 
unless leaders shall appear who also can and do in 
themselves incarnate the hopes and aspirations 
that have produced these conditions and caused 
these voices to be uttered. The sympathetic 
leader will understand the soul quality underlying 
the problems of the times and will seek the balm of 
its satisfaction in terms of spiritual ministry. 

But there is also a fourth quality for leadership 
which the times require, a quality that will articu- 
late the others with themselves and fit them for 
solving the otherwise appalling issues we face. It 
is the will to undertake, no matter what the cost 
may be to men or institutions, the will to under- 
take and the determination never to relax effort 
till the program has been accomplished. It is well 
to see conditions as they are ; it is well to hear the 
pleading voices of the arising aspirations of men, 
it is well to sympathize with their soul-passion for 
freedom, for expression, for personality: it is ab- 
solutely essential to map out a program based on 
this vision, this perception, this sympathetic under- 
standing and then to undertake a campaign that 
will make it real in the organization of the social 



252 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



order and fruitful in the lives of men. Not every- 
one that sees, that hears, that loves and sympa- 
thizes can lead us out of the chaos and confusion 
of the day, but they who in addition to seeing, un- 
derstanding, and sympathizing, in love shall un- 
dertake the carrying out of the program that 
promises relief. 

III. The Program Needed 
But what is that program ? It is the religion of 
Jesus Christ — it is the gospel He lived and taught 
— it is the ideals of life He exemplified. There is 
no cure for the nationalism that produces war but 
the application to international relations of that 
spirit of brotherhood, that willingness to sacrifice 
one for another, which is the heart of the Chris- 
tian system. Of course the sovereignty which na- 
tions have in these latter centuries arrogated to 
themselves must be abridged. We have tried it 
and find it subversive of the peace of the world. 
Nationalism is selfish. Nations have persuaded 
themselves that they should get all they can for 
their own citizens. This is a false philosophy. 
Prosperity for the nation is not to be secured 
through getting all possible from other nations, 
but in rendering all the service possible to them. 
The world is a brotherhood, a social unity, says 
the gospel of Jesus, and whatever helps one mem- 
ber, helps all the others, and when one member 
suffers all the others suffer with it through that 



CHEIST, OUE SUFFICIENCY 253 



wonderful circulatory system of the spirit whose 
life blood is propelled by the beating heart of man- 
kind. Peace will never come till the Prince of 
Peace reigns in the council chambers of the rulers 
of the world. We all know this. We await the 
appearance of the leaders who will initiate His 
rule. Then wars shall cease and men give them- 
selves joyously to the pursuit of the things that 
minister to the common good. 

And the same is true of industrial strife and of 
racial hatred. We know that selfish interest will 
never solve these problems. So long as capitalists 
fasten their eyes on profits and labouring men on 
increased wages, so long as one race looks upon 
another as inferior and the object of exploitation, 
these problems will remain perplexing menaces to 
life and happiness. But suppose the capitalists 
should look upon the labouring man as a brother 
and member of his own family and the labouring 
man in turn should regard the capitalist as his 
friend and co-worker in the common effort to sup- 
ply a legitimate need of mankind; suppose, too, 
that the white man should regard his coloured 
neighbour as a brother and determine to help him 
to larger life, the coloured man in turn regarding 
his white neighbour as a friend and sympathetic 
counsellor, what would be the result? All the dif- 
ferences that now divide employers and employees 
into hostile camps and all the jealousies and mis- 
understandings that inflame race passion and 



254 THE OHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



threaten race war, would disappear, would disap- 
pear as naturally and as unobtrusively as the mist 
disappears before the rising sun. But what can 
bring us this change of attitude ? The acceptance 
of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the hypothesis and 
norm of life, wherein mutual trust and brother- 
hood are the foundation principles of conduct, — 
that and nothing else. 

We shall apply our principle to but one other 
issue — the religious condition of men, denomina- 
tionalism in our own land and the conflict of na- 
tive faiths with our own in foreign countries. 
How will the denominations come to see the waste 
of division and the profit of union? How will 
they be ready to sink petty differences and come 
together on the great fundamentals? How will 
they learn not merely toleration of, but love and 
appreciation for the brother that honestly differs 
from his brethren? And how will they acquire 
the ability to make practical the things they shall 
learn? The unescapable answer is the gospel of 
Jesus Christ, Who taught us to love one another 
as He loved His disciples and Who prayed for the 
oneness of His people that the world might believe 
His Father had sent Him to redeem mankind. 
Nothing but the gospel, the gospel in love and 
sacrifice, the gospel in action, will ever heal this 
gaping sore of Christendom, upon the healing of 
which the evangelization of the world depends. 
Look upon the fields, He urged His disciples. 



CHRIST, OUR SUFFICIENCY 255 



They were white unto the harvest then, and they 
are white now. But a divided Church is impotent 
to apply the sickle of its truth, because forsooth it 
does not agree as to what is the truth. And the 
consequence? The consequence is that millions in 
the Christian lands look on in dismay, unable to 
comprehend the suicidal method the churches em- 
ploy and so doubting the genuineness of the cause 
they profess to desire to advance, and our brothers 
in the non-Christian lands (How the heart aches 
to say it!), our brothers in non-Christian lands are 
denied an equal advantage with ourselves to know 
God and His righteousness, and so fight an uneven 
battle in the effort to realize His will for them. 
The gospel can best be presented to adherents of 
other religions, we have seen, in the thought of 
fulfillment of what they already have and as offer- 
ing them a better spiritual weapon. We must, in 
other words, present Christ to them in the spirit of 
humility, and not in the spirit of intolerant superi- 
ority. Let us pray for leaders who shall be able to 
apply successfully the program of the Christ to the 
religious situation at home and in the foreign 
field: it is the only hope humanity has. 

And now arises a very personal and practical 
question. What is my duty in this splendid cru- 
sade ? Am I to sit idly by while my brothers per- 
ish ? Shall I not see these things that stir the 
world for myself? Shall I not listen to and en- 
deavour to understand the voices that arise from 



256 THE CHUBCH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



so many quarters and directions? Shall I not in 
loving sympathy undertake to find the remedy for 
the solution of the problems that challenge me 
with all others in this hour? Shall I not devote 
myself to the application of that remedy that these 
ills may be cured and a new day dawn for men? 
How can I do this? There is but one way — for 
myself to accept Christ as the inspiration of my 
life and of all its undertakings and then to become 
under His direction a crusader completely dedi- 
cated to His cause, ready to sacrifice all that my 
brothers everywhere may accept Him too, and that 
the institutions that minister to their lives may 
also become imbued with His spirit. Conscious 
of my own weakness and of the inability of men 
in their own wisdom and strength to work the 
transformation of life and society so needful for 
the times, I will myself accept His program, will- 
ing to lead or to be led in its realization in the 
world, looking to Him as the power able to bring 
it through men to pass, in our weakness, acknowl- 
edging His strength, for He is our hope, our suffi- 
ciency alone for the tasks that challenge us as we 
look out upon the world so sorely needing to be 
reconstructed. The Christ of the gospel — He is 
our sufficiency, our sufficiency personally and for 
all the relations and institutions of life. We must 
choose Him to lead. He alone is able and suf- 
ficient. 



XVI 



THE LIFTING POWER OF CHRIST, THE 
CHURCH'S HOPE 




"^HE leadership of Jesus is unique in the 
world. Born amid the cattle, cradled in 
the trough from which they ate, with 



never a place of His own during all His life on 
which He could lay His head, crucified with 
thieves, buried in a tomb belonging to another, 
this Man, cast out and rejected by the rulers of 
the day, has become the dating point for all his- 
tory. But the uniqueness of His leadership is not 
discerned in these facts, marvellous as they are. 
He gave the world a new idea of leadership, a new 
view-point from which to estimate men and move- 
ments, a new spirit in which to live, a new power 
to rise to closer fellowship with God and brother- 
men. 

Jesus was no scientist and yet He understood 
the interpretation of science as no scientist ever 
did. He saw to the heart of things and inter- 
preted the facts of life in terms of His Father's 
will and purpose. To Darwin life was competi- 
tion, a struggle between the strong and the weak, 
with the fittest surviving. To Malthus the in- 

257 



258 THE CHUECH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



crease of population could be relieved of the dire- 
ful consequences of overcrowding only by disease, 
pestilence, famine, and wars. The sad thing about 
these scientists, one of them a preacher, is that 
they arrived at their irrational and distressing con- 
clusions after Jesus had given us the proper inter- 
pretation of the facts of life that drove them to 
folly and madness. No one can doubt that bio- 
logically the strong have survived the weak and 
that disease and war have on occasion thinned out 
the population of the world. On these points 
Christ agrees with Darwin and Malthus. But 
these men understood these facts which they had 
observed to be the inevitable and unchanging laws 
of life. Jesus knew better. He knew His Fa- 
ther's design in the creation of man. He knew 
that the weak as well as the strong are equally dear 
to God and that there is no respect of persons with 
Him. In terms of that knowledge He interpreted 
life not as competition but as brotherhood, and the 
ills of life not as inevitable consequences, but as 
the denial of that brotherhood, and the goal of life 
not as the survival of the fittest, but as the uplift 
of all. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth," 
He declared, " will draw all men unto Me." 

He was lifted up, lifted up on the cross, and He 
has been drawing men to Himself ever since. As 
the Leader of men, He lifts them up to higher 
places. We who have imbibed His spirit and 
adopted His view-point look upon the inequalities 



THE LIFTING POWEK OF CHEIST 259 



of life as rebukes to our own sinfulness and are 
driven by the sense of brotherhood striving within 
our hearts to remove those inequalities by lifting 
our brothers out of them and up to our own stand- 
ard and vantage-ground of life. And most mar- 
vellous of all, He has imparted to us and will to 
all the power to achieve the things our hearts as- 
sure us are right and which they impel us to un- 
dertake. 

The problem of suffering has always perplexed 
the human heart, and appalled it when loved ones 
have suffered. Why should there be suffering and 
sorrow in life? "It is the process by which the 
fittest survive," says Darwin. " It is the method 
by which the surplus in population is eliminated/' 
answers Brother Malthus. " It is the opportu- 
nity to prove our brotherhood and the challenge to 
men to make progress by removing the causes of 
sorrow and suffering," teaches the Christ. And 
we instinctively know He is right. The same 
facts, but a new insight. The same facts, but 
a new spur to progress. The same facts, but 
those very facts become the opportunity to achieve 
the goal of humanity, the lifting up of the weak 
to the level of the strong and the bringing of all 
mankind into the high estate of citizenship in the 
democracy of God, Christ has been lifted up, and 
behold the miracles He has during these twenty 
centuries wrought in the lives and organizations 
and attitudes of men! 



260 THE CHUBCH IN THE PKESENT CRISIS 



When He came, men considered themselves, be- 
cause of a certain incident in a Garden toward the 
morning of creation, superior to their mothers and 
wives and daughters and sisters. The lot of wom- 
anhood in His day was deplorable. Denied ac- 
cess to education, deprived of social opportunity, 
confined closely to the home, regarded as the prop- 
erty of father or husband, the life of woman was 
a drudgery, nay, it was a tragedy in those days, 
even as it is to-day in the non-Christian lands. 
He touched the life of woman and lifted it. It 
has taken a long time for us to recognize what He 
meant by His doctrine of brotherhood. The fact 
that we call it brotherhood rather than sisterhood 
shows how unwilling we have been to meet its 
implications in the spirit of equality and democ- 
racy. First came woman's domestic liberty, then 
civil rights, then educational rights, then political 
rights. The inequalities of the wage scale and the 
double moral standard show that we have a long 
way to go yet in applying Christ's teaching as to 
womanhood in industry and in social life, while 
even in His Church, where democracy should rule 
in its purity, the limitations set on woman's oppor- 
tunities must be galling to her deeply religious life 
as they are disgusting to men who have sensed the 
will and purpose of God for His children. We 
have a long way to go yet, but when we consider 
the height to which we have ascended, there is 
every reason to rejoice and every encouragement 



THE LIFTING POWEE OF CHKIST 261 



to hope for the fulfillment of Christ's promise to 
lift womanhood up to Himself. No wonder the 
women of the Church have ever loved our Master. 
He has redeemed them in a double sense. 

When He came, childhood had no rights. Man- 
hood was strong. Childhood was weak. Man- 
hood was able to force its will upon childhood, and 
it did. Once upon a time when loving mothers 
brought their babes to Him for a blessing, His in- 
timate associates, His disciples, forbade them to 
interfere with His larger work. When He per- 
ceived it, He rebuked them and, taking the babes 
in His arms, He blessed them, declaring that " of 
such is the Kingdom of Heaven." On another 
occasion He told them, after placing a little child 
in their midst, that unless they should become as 
such a child, they should in no wise enter the King- 
dom. Christ honoured the family by coming as a 
member into it. He honoured motherhood by be- 
coming the offspring of an earthly mother. He 
glorified childhood by entering life as a babe in 
swaddling clothes. Homes that have imbibed His 
attitude toward children are vitally affected in 
their estimate of childhood's opportunities. The 
young life entrusted to parents in such homes has 
become now their finest door of service to God and 
man. Christians now recognize that they are re- 
sponsible for the life and conduct and accomplish- 
ments of their children. This conception of the 
sacredness of childhood has transformed the edu- 



262 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



cational system of the world, and teachers now 
endeavour to discover the laws of God for the un- 
folding of the mind and to adapt educational proc- 
esses to the child in terms of those laws. Educa- 
tion has in these latter days ceased to place its em- 
phasis on discipline and begun to regard itself as 
the agency of direction and guidance for the de- 
veloping soul made in God's own image. No 
wonder children love Jesus. He has brought them 
into their own and transformed the very terms and 
conditions of their life. This is not to say that 
we have reached the stage of perfection in our 
dealing with childhood. There are many hard- 
hearted parents yet who look upon their children 
as economic assets for the family budget. There 
are many money-crazed captains of industry who 
resent laws depriving them of the cheap labour of 
children. It is necessary for a Christian state to 
safeguard childhood by enacting labour and edu- 
cational legislation. We deplore these tragic facts, 
yet we rejoice in the progress already achieved and 
we know that in Him and in His lifting power we 
have the principle that will eventually bring child- 
hood into its perfect right. When all men become 
as little children, then will childhood be perfectly 
understood and appreciated, and then will the 
Kingdom of God be real in the earth. 

When Jesus came, the poor were friendless, 
hopeless, spiritless. They were not even consid- 
ered worthy the comfort of religion. He preached 



THE LIFTING POWEE OF CHRIST 263 



good news to the poor and it startled the world* 
" Blessed are ye poor," He said one day in a no- 
table sermon, and every horny-handed son of in- 
dustry from that day to this has had a new impetus 
to perform his toilsome task. " God cares for 
me," muses the labouring man, " and He rates me 
not by my money, but by the fidelity with which I 
do the things I undertake ; blessed be the name of 
the Lord." No wonder the poor have always 
loved Jesus. Other men, religious teachers and 
high Church officers too, regarded the labouring 
man as a sinner because of his poverty, but this 
matchless Nazarene pronounced a blessing on him 
and taught him of God's love. And as a conse- 
quence, a man can no longer be imprisoned for 
debt. As a consequence, industry is more and 
more taxed to protect his life and safeguard his 
old age. Not that we have yet reached the ideal 
state. We are far from it. The strikes and lock- 
outs we constantly read about reveal a far from 
perfect condition. When groups of capitalists 
make war on the Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., 
and the Federal Council of Churches because they 
have expressed sentiments hostile to huge divi- 
dends at the expense of the human element in pro- 
duction, we recognize that industry is far from the 
Christ ideal. It is Darwinian rather than Chris- 
tian in its organization. Christ would have la- 
bourers and capitalists alike recognize that they 
are brothers and in the spirit of brotherhood work 



264 THE CHUECH IN THE PRESENT CEISIS 



out their mutual relationships. Christian leaders 
to-day must not neglect to speak the gospel mes- 
sage for the industrial order, not merely pointing 
out its injustices, but showing how they may be 
removed in the spirit of Christian democracy. So 
shall the Kingdom of God come among us in 
power, power even to bring peace and good-will 
and reciprocated love to a distraught and pagan 
industrial order. Jesus is able to lift us up and 
out of it all, into a realm of joyous and loyal mu- 
tual service. He is able. Let's give Him a 
chance. 

When Jesus came, the prisons were teeming 
with wretched inmates and prison houses were 
cesspools of disease and death, death physical and 
moral. Courts existed to exact suitable penalties 
from those who had broken the laws. Justice was 
not tempered with mercy and such a concept as 
the reformation of the criminal was foreign to the 
thought of the world. Behold the transformation 
His touch has wrought! Prisons are to-day for 
the most part models of sanitation and cleanliness. 
Every precaution is taken to keep the inmates 
physically fit. And the spirit of the administra- 
tion of justice has fundamentally changed. Now 
the purpose of the whole judicial system is not 
centred in due punishment for crimes committed, 
but in the thought of returning the unfortunate 
men and women to their rightful places in the so- 
ciety of their brothers and sisters, restored in pur- 



THE LIFTING POWER OF CHRIST 265 



pose and renewed in heart and life. A special 
category is made for youthful offenders, and the 
juvenile judges are working miracles among the 
erring children of our hearts and homes. The 
whole conception of crime has likewise undergone 
a fundamental change. Crime is a disease, it is 
sin, a sickness of the heart, and is to be cured like 
any other sickness by the proper application of 
suitable remedies. Certainly there is protest 
against these sentiments. There are stern men 
who resent the mercy we now extend our brothers- 
in-bonds in the effort to rebuild their shattered 
lives. But there is no doubt on which side of the 
issue Jesus has taken His stand. It is our duty 
and our privilege, too, to lift up these downcast 
and defeated brethren, to lift them up to Christ. 
Nothing less than such an administration of the 
laws as will reform the offenders and restore them 
to fellowship with their brothers, to their own self- 
respect, and to sonship with our Father can satisfy 
the Christ Who came to lift up all men to Him- 
self. 

When Jesus came, medical science was quackery 
and doctors of medicine were charlatans and arcl? 
^deceivers of the people. His sympathy for the 
sick and afflicted and His desire to restore them to 
health and strength again, to lift them up, set His 
followers to careful observation and study of the 
causes of disease and methods of prevention and 
cure, until to-day ten thousand miracles of healing 



266 THE CHUKCH IN THE PKESENT CEISIS 



are wrought where He during His earthly life 
wrought one. Hospitals are Christian institutions 
and medical science flourishes only in Christian 
lands. When we send out our missionaries to 
preach and teach the gospel, we send along with 
them the Christian physician who has access to the 
heart of the non-Christian world second to no rep- 
resentative of the Christ. That it is our duty to 
be well and strong is a fundamental plank in the 
Christian platform and that poor health is not an 
affliction sent by God, but a condition remediable 
in accordance with the laws of the body, is a corol- 
lary to that teaching. And they who discover new 
and better methods of sanitation, they who dis- 
cover the causes of diseases and how to vaccinate 
against them, they who discover better medicines 
for the diseases which constantly afflict our broth- 
ers and sisters, looking to that blissful day when 
perfected medical science shall have banished dis- 
ease and sickness from men, they who do these 
things are treading in the footprints of the Christ 
and are His assistants in His effort and desire to 
lift up all men to Himself. We have a long way 
to go yet to achieve this happy goal, but it is a dis- 
tinct challenge to Christians to reach it. No other 
religion has ever placed such emphasis on the 
bodies of men. But Jesus teaches us that all life 
is sacred to Him and that our bodies are the tem- 
ple of the living God. We should not only not de^ 
file them, but we must keep them pure and strong 



THE LIFTING POWEE OF CHEIST 267 



•and healthful, and then we must use their purity, 
their strength, their health to help our Master lift 
all men to Himself. 

When Jesus came, there was no real scholarship 
in the world. There were great thinkers, who had 
in their minds, as it were, wrought out certain 
systems of social and political philosophy, but such 
a thing as a body of experts given to the pursuit 
of knowledge and then applying their discoveries 
to the solution of the problems of the world was 
undreamed. He taught men to seek the truth and 
that the truth would make them free. He meant 
by this all truth, because all truth is but a revela- 
tion of God. Astronomy is nothing more nor less 
than thinking God's thoughts after Him, as Kep- 
ler so grandly put it. And the same is true of 
Chemistry and of Biology and of Geology and of 
Sociology and of Theology and of all the rest. 
Before His day, men thought they could ascertain 
truth by meditation. Deduction was the only 
logical process they possessed. It could never 
yield them any but a partial conception of truth. 
But when Jesus commanded men to seek for the 
truth, He opened up the door that led to modern 
science. He made the world real and gave it a 
purpose. Sad is the fact that the Church has so 
often arrayed herself against scholarship. Jesus 
rejoices, I am sure, in every advanced step schol- 
ars have made in the elucidation of truth and to 
Him all truth is a revelation of His Father's will 



268 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



and purpose for men and in His eyes equally com- 
mendable. When Astrology lost its superstition 
through the earnest search for truth in the heavens 
and became Astronomy, a science upon which 
navigation in based and by which time is accu- 
rately recorded and in terms of which comets, 
eclipses, meteoric showers, the Aurora Borealis 
and the other phenomena of the heavenly bodies 
are scientifically explained, men reaped the boon 
Jesus had promised them. They ceased to fear 
these things and became free to use them to lift 
themselves and their brothers up into a completer 
appreciation of the beneficence of God. And when 
Alchemy became divested of its quackery and 
evolved into the noble science of Chemistry, men 
again rejoiced in the promised boon and became 
free to use the elements out of which God built the 
earth and the laws of their combination so as to 
promote life and industry. And the same is true 
of all science. Fundamentally there can be no 
conflict between science and religion — both are 
revelations of God, both emanate from Him and 
both alike lead to Him. If there is conflict, one or 
the other or in that regard both are false, and it 
becomes reverent men to seek for the truth, for 
then only can freedom come. Jesus understands 
all truth. He has promised to lift us up to Him- 
self, where we, too, may see, understand, and ap- 
preciate the truth. He gave us the method by 
which to reach Him and every new conquest of 



THE LIFTING POWEE OF CHEIST 269 



scholarship brings us nearer and nearer to Him. 
We have a great deal to learn yet. This universe 
is still in many directions a closed book. But the 
Lamb of God is able to open it. He is constantly 
opening it through the faithful seeking for truth 
of the scholars of the world, whose discoveries 
beneficently add to the freedom of men and in- 
evitably lift them up toward the Christ, Whose 
spirit He promised should guide us into all truth. 

When Jesus came, the political organizations 
that governed men derived their powers from the 
will of the rulers. That government then was 
greatest that could force its will upon the largest 
number of vassal states. But He touched the gov- 
ernments of the world with a new principle and 
transformed them in their essential aim and pur- 
pose. " Greatness consists not in authority, but 
in service," we find this magnificent Democrat 
teaching. " Governments derive their just powers 
from the consent of the governed," declared a 
later interpreter of His view. And in our day the 
whole world has been engaged in a bloody conflict 
to rid mankind of autocracy and to make the world 
safe for democracy. Wars of conquest are no 
longer thinkable. Wars of aggression are unholy, 
and no nation now dares undertake a war without 
endeavouring to justify its cause to the Christian 
conscience of mankind. What tribute this to that 
gentle Man Who could have called an army of 
angels to His defense, but Who suffered the death 



270 THE CHUECH IN THE PEESENT CEISIS 



of the cross, that He might teach men His Fa- 
ther's love for them and how peace is ultimately to 
come on the earth. The League of Nations is an 
essentially Christian document. Designing poli- 
ticians may delay its coming. Their own blood be 
upon them, as also the blood of the others that 
shall be shed because they were in their partisan 
blindness unwilling to ratify an agreement by 
which its spilling would have been unnecessary! 
The Disarmament Conference is in essence a 
Christian assembly. God grant that the spirit of 
Christ may guide its deliberations and inspire its 
conclusions! We are a long way yet from the 
realization of the Christian ideal in the govern- 
ments of the world, but the progress of the race 
from the despotic tyranny and autocracy of the 
past to the recognition of democracy as the only 
defensible principle for the organization of politi- 
cal units is cause for rejoicing, is tribute to the 
lifting power of the Christ, and is prophecy of 
that day when men shall beat their swords into 
pruning hooks, of that day when wars shall cease, 
of that day when governments shall find their real 
reason for being not in the authority they exercise, 
but in the service they may render not to their 
own citizens only, but to all the world in the name 
and in the spirit of Christ. 

Nor must we fail to record the uplifting power 
of Christ for the individual man. He chose His 
disciples from the humble walks of life and lifted 



THE LIFTING POWER OF CHRIST 271 



them up to be the leaders of the world. Peter, the 
cursing fisherman and man of ungovernable tem- 
per, became Peter the rock and Pentecostal 
preacher. Matthew, the publican, became the au- 
thor of the finest account of his Master's life. 
Paul, the Pharisee, became the apostle to the Gen- 
tiles and the author of more books in our Bible 
than any other man. Hadley, the drunken bum 
and sot, founded a world-famous rescue mission. 
Moody, from an humble clerk, became one of the 
world's most powerful evangelists. " Billy " Sun- 
day, after that memorable experience in the Pa- 
cific Garden Mission, is the flaming evangel to 
countless thousands. Jesus, by His magic touch, 
lifts men, draws them to Himself, makes little men 
into big ones, transforms pigmies into giants, out 
of sinners and outcasts produces saints and proph- 
ets of the hopeful way. Wherever He has touched 
the life of any man He has lifted him up to higher 
and holier estate. And He will ever bless and up- 
lift the individual soul that puts its trust in Him. 
Oh, the unspeakable joy of the life uplifted 
through vital contact with Christ! 

The millennium is yet to come, but it is coming. 
It is being born before our very eyes, and we are 
privileged to hasten its full realization among men. 
The millennium is not something to be dropped 
down out of the sky upon men. It is a state of 
bliss possible of realization through the lifting 
power of Christ, assisted by His followers on the 



272 THE CHURCH IN THE PRESENT CRISIS 



earth. Just as He has lifted women and children 
from their low estate to where they now are, with 
larger promise for the future; just as He has 
touched the lives of the poor and the prisoner with 
hope and cheer and lifted them up; just as He has 
created for uplift to man medical science and true 
scholarship; just as He has given a new spirit to 
the governments of the world; just as He has 
touched the individual man with newness of life 
and power and everywhere made him a king and 
priest unto God ; just so He is able to touch all of 
life and every institution that ministers to life, and 
the social order in even its remotest and most mi- 
nute details, and lift them up to Himself. And 
when He has done it through His spirit and the 
loyal, devoted assistance of His disciples, the mil- 
lennium will have come and that "one far-off di- 
vine event toward which the whole creation 
moves " have been consummated. 

The inspiring, challenging word for you and me 
as His followers is, that He has honoured us by 
giving us part with Him in lifting up all men and 
drawing them to Himself. In His lifting power 
resides the hope of the Church in the present crisis. 



Printed in the United States of America 



I 





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LIBRARY 


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